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Geographical Indications, Barriers to Market Access and Preferential Trade Agreements


  • Viju, Crina
  • Yeung, May T.
  • Kerr, William A.


Canada is currently negotiating a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union; the issue of Geographic Indications (GIs) is on the negotiating agenda and is expected to be one of the most contentious issues in the negotiations. While the exact nature of protection for GIs to be included in the agreement is not yet clear, there is a potential conflict over market access with the U.S. (and presumably the approximately 50 other countries that use trademarks instead of GIs to protect this type of intellectual property). This paper explores the wider issues surrounding differences in the protection of intellectual property and the effect on market access as well as the potential specific issues pertaining to the CETA for NAFTA members. General issues include, among others, how market access could be restricted either by de facto import bans or the imposition of additional costs on exporting firms; would this qualify as nullification of impairment of a benefit under GATT? Does the TRIPS provides any guidance for this issue and would GIs be treated in the same way as a country entering a customs union and having to pay compensation if it raises tariffs to the common level? Any potential conflict between Canada’s NAFTA commitments and potential CETA provisions are also investigated.

Suggested Citation

  • Viju, Crina & Yeung, May T. & Kerr, William A., 2012. "Geographical Indications, Barriers to Market Access and Preferential Trade Agreements," Commissioned Papers 122741, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:catpcp:122741

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tim Josling, 2006. "The War on "Terroir": Geographical Indications as a Transatlantic Trade Conflict," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 337-363.
    2. Giovannucci, Daniele & Josling, Timothy & Kerr, William & O'Connor, Bernard & Yeung, May T., 2009. "Guide to Geographical Indications: Linking Products and Their Origins (Summary)," MPRA Paper 27955, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Viju, Crina & Kerr, William A. & Mekkaoui, Cherine, 2010. "Everything is on the Table: Agriculture in the Canada-EU Trade Agreement," Commissioned Papers 95800, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
    4. Wattanapruttipaisan, Thitapha, 2009. "Trademarks and Geographical Indications: Policy Issues and Options in Trade Negotiations and Implementation," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 26(1), pages 166-205.
    5. Kerr, William A., 2011. "The Preference for New Preferential Trade Agreements: Does It Lead to a Good Use of Scarce Resources?," eJADE: electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization, Agricultural and Development Economics Division, vol. 12(1).
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    Geographic Indications (GIs); trademarks; market access; FTAs; NAFTA; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Relations/Trade;

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