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Shane Chambers

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Text (renegotiated NAFTA)

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Here's the important part...

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1. Mexico shall initiate, subject to its applicable laws and regulations, the process to consider prohibiting the sale of any product in Mexico as American Rye Whiskey, if it has not been manufactured in the United States in accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States governing the manufacture of American Rye Whiskey.

2. The United States shall initiate, subject to its applicable laws and regulations, the process to consider prohibiting the sale of any product in the United States as Charanda, Sotol, or Bacanora, if it has not been manufactured in Mexico in accordance with the laws and regulations of Mexico governing the manufacture of Charanda, Sotol, and Bacanora.

United States-Mexico Side Letter on Distinctive Products

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Sweet. Now if we can get Ontario/Canada to eliminate the 150% import duty on spirits we will be all set. 

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Personally I find this problematic for Sotol.  First off, there is at least one producer of Sotol in the US (Desert Door Sotol here in Texas).  Other items in NAFTA and here, are locations or regional names.  Sotol is a plant.  Is this effectively saying that spirits made from sotol can't be distilled in the US?

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4 hours ago, Shane Chambers said:

Personally I find this problematic for Sotol.  First off, there is at least one producer of Sotol in the US (Desert Door Sotol here in Texas).  Other items in NAFTA and here, are locations or regional names.  Sotol is a plant.  Is this effectively saying that spirits made from sotol can't be distilled in the US?

All the agave-like spirits have a similar situation. Tequila is a plant (agave tequilana) and a region, and the production of the spirit called that must be in that region with that plant, although the plant grows elsewhere.

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Yeah, but I can produce "Agave Spirits," and not have a problem.  I would guess that the TTB would also allow "Agave Tequilana" on a label as well, because it is technically true.

Putting "Sotol" on a restricted terminology list, is akin to putting Agave on it.

I can just imagine the labels now "Distilled spirits from an arid growing succulent plant that we can't mention."

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