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US lawmakers push back against EU geographical indication restrictions

About 55 senators sent a letter to US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging them to protect commonly used food names.

March 12, 2014
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US lawmakers push back on EU geographical restrictions

Yesterday, 55 senators delivered a letter to US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging them to protect commonly used food names from European Union attempts to restrict US production and exports through geographical indications. The letter praises administration efforts by the EU to restrict the use of common names like “parmesan” and “feta”, but warns that the EU is becoming increasingly aggressive in erecting these types of trade barriers.

US negotiators will go back to the bargaining table this week on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP),

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) released a statement in support of the the effort, saying, "These lawmakers understand the importance of lowering trade barriers and fighting the kinds of restrictions that have the capacity to stall job growth in the United States and limit our expanding dairy export market. Protecting the ability of US cheese makers to use common cheese names is a top priority for IDFA. TTIP is an opportunity to lift trade barriers, not impose new ones.”

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