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NMPF Stands for Common Cheese Names and U.S. Dairy Jobs

October 2, 2020

NMPF continues to lead opposition to unjustified European Union (EU) attempts to ban U.S. dairy producers from using common terms for cheeses and limit market opportunities for U.S. dairy manufacturers and exporters, with increased traction on Capitol Hill.

A bipartisan coalition from the House of Representatives will soon begin circulating a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supporting American-made food and wine exports labeled with commonly used terms. Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Angie Craig (D-MN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) are seeking signatures for their letter that urges USTR and USDA to advance a consistent trade policy that prioritizes securing specific market access assurances for products that use common food terms, traditional terms, or the names of legitimate plant and grape varietals in all trade-related discussions.

NMPF applauded a similar letter sent by 61 senators this summer.

The USTR also made explicit note of the EU’s anti-trade GI campaign in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in August, writing, “The EU uses its trade deals in many cases not to advance trade liberalization, but to force other countries to adopt thinly veiled protectionist measures like ‘geographic indications,’ which prohibit the use of common labeling terms for wine and food items produced outside the EU.”

More information on how the EU’s campaign would harm American farmers and processors alike can be found in a recent Hoard’s Dairyman op-ed written by Jaime Castaneda, NMPF Senior Vice President for Policy Strategy and International Trade.

NMPF has also worked with the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the Consortium for Common Food Names to develop a one-page fact sheet showing what’s at risk for U.S. dairy if the EU is left unchecked, making it clear that this is an issue to which everyone in dairy should pay attention to.