The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) expressed appreciation for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s denunciation of geographical indications (GIs) as trade barriers. During recent meetings with European agriculture and trade officials, Perdue made it clear that the European Union (EU) must drop its aggressive campaign to confiscate common food names to successfully negotiate a trade deal with the U.S.
In response, USDEC, NMPF and CCFN — all based in Arlington, Va. — issued the following joint statement:
“The EU’s patently unfair trade policies, including the misuse of GI protections, have resulted in a lopsided trade dynamic where trade benefits only flow one-way: toward Europe. As Secretary Perdue rightly noted, Europe’s unfair trade barriers have less to do with preserving the rights of legitimate GIs than with restricting competition from exceptional U.S. products.
“We commend Secretary Perdue for his firm stance defending the rights of U.S. farmers and food producers to use the common names consumers know and love. Dismantling EU trade barriers that drive the dairy deficit and cause undue harm to our industry must remain a top priority in negotiations with the EU.”