The Trump Administration should correct the inequity in cheese sales opportunities between the United States and the European Union (EU), especially given the EU’s anti-trade practice of abusing geographical indications (GI) policies to monopolize generic cheese names as a means to shut out competition. That is the message sent in a letter to President Trump on May 14 by the chairman of the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), Errico Auricchio, who is also the president and founder of Belgioioso Cheese, Green Bay, Wis.
“The United States is an extremely profitable dairy market for the EU; we must leverage that power in correcting this deeply frustrating inequity,” Auricchio wrote. “I urge you to utilize all available tools to remedy this situation. Let us at least consider imposing the same restriction on them that they do on us: require that they not sell cheeses by these names into our market, as long as we are locked out of theirs.”
The United States is Europe’s No. 1 export market for cheese, totaling approximately $1 billion in annual sales, but the EU restricts competition from the United States in many cheese categories, contributing to a massive $1.6 billion U.S.-EU dairy trade deficit, the letter states.
The full text of the letter can be found on the CCFN website (www.CommonFoodNames.com). The United States last month rebuked the EU for its abuses on GI policies in the annual Special 301 intellectual property report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. CCFN said it continues to encourage the administration to evaluate the full range of tools at its disposal to address the deeply asymmetrical nature of the U.S.-EU food trade relationship.