SHANGHAI — Beijing and Brussels have struck a deal to protect regional food names such as Gorgonzola, Champagne, Nanjing salted duck and Lapsang Souchong tea.
“We will sign it in Beijing in two days,” French President Emmanuel Macron told POLITICO and Reuters on Monday.
Phil Hogan, the EU’s incoming trade chief, travelled to China to seal the pact. “Commissioner Hogan is in China to finalize the agreement,” a Commission spokesperson said.
The deal is set to anger U.S. agriculture producers who say the EU is boxing them out of their main growing markets, as its system of geographical indications builds an increasingly strong foothold worldwide.
Indeed, the agreement means that a cheese, for example, can only be labeled and sold as “Roquefort” in China if it was made in the French commune of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. American blue cheese producers will have to find a different — lesser-known — name for their product.
The deal also protects Chinese food names in Europe, such as Wuchuan Mooncake and Pixian bean paste.
People following the accord said that the EU’s goal is to expand the list to another 175 geographical indications, four years after entry into force of this agreement.
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