The heads of three major U.S. dairy organizations are encouraged by an Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) report identifying the misuse of geographical indicators (GIs) as a priority issue in 2022.
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The annual USTR Special 301 report outlines global challenges on intellectual property issues and details the European Union’s (EU) restrictions on the use of common food and beverage terms, such as “Parmesan,” “bologna” and “chateau.” Those GIs erect nontariff trade barriers to U.S. food and beverage producers’ market access rights in foreign countries, according to leaders of the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

“We whole-heartedly agree with USTR about the harm imposed by the EU’s deliberate restriction of generic food and beverage terms in markets around the world,” said Jaime Castaneda, executive director of CCFN. “USTR’s Special 301 report should serve as a foundation upon which the administration can build a more proactive and focused global campaign of its own to counteract the EU’s long-running efforts. U.S. farmers and food producers, and others around the world, deserve the chance to compete fairly in export markets.”

“The U.S. government has accurately diagnosed the EU’s deliberate global strategy of cloaking nontariff trade barriers as ‘GIs’ so that it doesn’t have to compete head to head in common product categories with U.S. food producers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “By deploying all of the tools at its disposal, including use of existing U.S. FTAs, the upcoming IPEF talks and TIFAs, the administration can take strong action to establish concrete market access protections with our trading partners around the world. The time for this is now and we stand ready to support those proactive efforts on behalf of American farmers.”

“Because we export the equivalent of 17% of U.S. milk production, trade barriers like bans on the use of common cheese names have profound consequences for the entire American dairy industry, from the many small and medium-sized family-owned companies to farmer-owned cooperatives and the workers employed there,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “U.S. dairy farmers and cheesemakers only want a fair shot at sharing their high-quality, sustainably produced products with consumers around the globe. By doubling down on combating global restrictions on the sale of common name products, USTR can defend opportunities for American-made products internationally and the jobs they support here at home.”

AUSTRALIA – The government of Australia has awarded funds to two local dairy companies, Purearth and Australian Consolidated Milk, in an effort to boost local milk production.

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