Chineses anti-dumping investigation on european wine spirits: meeting between the chinese trade minister and french producersPress release




Chineses anti-dumping investigation on european wine spirits:
meeting between the chinese trade minister and french producers 


Representatives of the Fédération des Exportateurs Français de Vins et Spiritueux (FEVS), the Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l’Armagnac (BNIA), the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) and the five main Cognac houses present in China met today with Mr Wang Wentao, Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, on the occasion of his official visit to France. The meeting, which lasted more than two hours, provided an opportunity to discuss the anti-dumping investigation launched by the Chinese authorities on 5 January into European wine spirits, against a backdrop of trade and diplomatic tensions between the European Union and China.

As an introduction to the meeting, the representatives of the Cognac Houses reminded the Minister of the length of time they have been present in China, the strength of the link between their brands and Chinese consumers who are sensitive to the quality of Cognac, and the very strong and positive symbol represented by the recognition of the Cognac appellation by the Chinese authorities in 2009. They also recalled the quality of their relations with the Chinese authorities over the decades, and their constant concern to ensure compliance with the regulations applied in China. Finally, they underlined the dynamism of their investments in the country and their desire to continue to build their presence there over the long term. Mr Wang was also briefed on the specific characteristics and importance of the Chinese market for Armagnac.

The potential impact of the current anti-dumping investigation on French production regions was also highlighted. ” Cognac is made up of 270 trading houses, some of which are over 300 years old. It is also made up of 4,400 winegrowers, 4,400 families, some of whom have been cultivating vines for several generations. Cognac is at the heart of the economy of two rural departments, Charente and Charente-Maritime, and generates over 70,000 jobs in France and thousands more in all the countries to which we export “, said Florent Morillon, President of the BNIC. But the relationship between our industries and China is not just economic: ” Cognac is a bridge of history, culture and friendship between France and China. This is why we deeply regret the current anti-dumping procedure, which is not understood by the thousands of people who make Cognac. Nevertheless, all those involved in the investigation remain determined to continue the rigorous cooperation begun with the relevant Chinese authorities.

Olivier Goujon, Director of the BNIA, pointed out that “for several decades, Armagnac has been proud to have forged a relationship with its Chinese importers. Thanks to this patient effort, China is now Armagnac’s second largest export market in terms of value, and the third largest in terms of volume.

Gabriel Picard, President of the FEVS, emphasised the need for ” dialogue, which is essential if we are to move forward together “. In this respect, he highlighted the forthcoming visit of a delegation from the sector to China: ” This will be an opportunity for us to discuss with our Chinese colleagues what we can do together to build fruitful cooperation, in a peaceful relationship of mutual understanding and partnership“.

The Minister emphasised the importance that the Chinese government attached to the sector. He assured participants that the investigation would be carried out in compliance with Chinese and international rules, in a spirit of listening, with the Chinese government making no assumptions about the outcome at this stage. In so doing, he stressed that the Chinese authorities wished to maintain a moderate and controlled approach to trade defence procedures, which they did not wish to exploit. In his view, the current procedure, like other existing cases between China and the European Union, could be resolved through dialogue and cooperation.

These aspects were to be among the points raised by Mr Wang on the afternoon of 8 April with the French economy and foreign trade ministers. These discussions were intended in particular to prepare for the meeting scheduled between President Emmanuel Macron and his Chinese counterpart during the latter’s official visit to France in early May.