Chinese GI Schizophrenia: Impacts of EU-US GI Contestations

Wenting Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Geographical Indications (GIs) have been a 'must-have' element for EU FTAs in the last decade. Contemporaneously, the USA has contested these EU GI provisions in its own FTAs often with the same countries. The impacts of the EU-US contestation on GIs on a third country are not sufficiently understood. China has been a long-standing example of the EU-US GI contestation. This article examines how the competing demands of EU-US GI contestation have contributed to the 'Chinese GI Schizophrenia', which features triplicate GI protection mechanisms coexisting simultaneously and independently. It discusses how the symptom has developed when China was navigating GI regulations bilaterally and multilaterally in the last four decades, how China has made efforts to manage this schizophrenia through institutional integration, and how recent agreements with the EU and the USA respectively further worsened the situation. Using the case of Chinese GI Schizophrenia, this article warns of similar consequences for any country signing bilateral GI agreements with both the EU and the USA: a compliance dilemma that can ultimately cast doubts on the legitimacy of GI rules and create rule complexity that can bring enormous uncertainty to agri-food producers and exporters.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAsian Journal of Comparative Law
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2023


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