Foods with names, which are linked directly or indirectly to a designated geographic origin are protected in law by a European based system of protected denomination of origin (PDO) and protected geographic indication (PGI). This study examines whether past protection of GIs through 11 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) has increased trade in them. The answer matters for trade policy, since the protection of at least some GIs has been a red line in EU FTA negotiations. The findings of this study show that that legal protection of GIs in FTAs does not significantly increase trade in them. Hence, the suggested policy implication is that the EU should focus on external promotion of its GIs rather than asking trading partners for stronger legal protection.
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