Brazilian cachaça

Speaking of geography (see last posting), Brad DeLong directs our attention to the burning issue of Cachaca! And Free Trade. And Intellectual “Property” – how Brazil is seeking geographical indications rights for its popular drink cachaça.
If the EU can push for “geographical indications rights” to protect produces such as Parma ham, Greek feta cheese and Champagne (and the US can push for protections for “Idaho potatoes”), the Brazilians area well within their rights. (See my blog entry on this of last year). Note that the enforcement of these IP protections is the same as for any other IP (such as music and video) – you threaten the other country with WTO approved retaliatory tariffs if they don’t crack down on the illegal counterfeiting inside their country.
When we opened up trade measures to internal market activities – as with TRIPS – we dramatically altered the dynamics of trade enforcement.
So Brad, when you are having a glass at the Cafe de la Paz in Berkeley, contemplate this bit of wisdom from the trade experts: it possible to enforce IPR on another countries’ internal activities, but not labor or environmental rights (that would be interference with the market and other nation’s laws).

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