Chicago Journal of International Law


The Doha Development Agenda (Doha Round) of multilateral trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) may fail unless a solution to the establishment of a multilateral register for geographical indications on wines and spirits (GIs) foreseen in the TRIPS Agreement is found Failure of the Doha Round would entail serious intended and unintended consequences for the world trading system. Europe's insistence on a Doha deal on GIs is now accompanied by demands from several developing countries for an extension of GI protection to products other than wines and spirits. Those demanders consider the current emphasis on alcoholic beverages to be both culturally discriminatory and a commercial impediment to the ability to collect the potential additional rents associated with GIs on various products (coffee, tea, cocoa, textiles, etc.). They argue that international GI protection would support their rural and traditional products, which in turn would lead to "development from within," a development strategy that prioritizes local autonomy and broad, community-wide development goals. The GI issue has direct implications for future global food consumption patterns. As such, GIs have environmental significance and form an increasingly relevant part of global agricultural and food policy discussions.