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NMPF Urges USTR to Enhance Efforts to Protect Use of Common Cheese Names

February 2, 2021

NMPF joined with USDEC to submit comments on Jan. 28 to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office urging a more robust approach to preserving U.S. cheesemakers’ ability to export their products that rely on common cheese names such as parmesan, feta, asiago and others. The submission also voiced strong support for more detailed comments filed by the Consortium for Common Food Names. Both were filed in response to USTR’s call for input to inform its annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property issues that documents key IP challenges facing U.S. companies and what USTR is doing to address them.

NMPF noted in the comments that EU use of FTAs to erect barriers to competition “creates a deeply uneven playing field that makes it much more difficult to successfully export the products that American workers have created using milk from U.S. farms.” To address this, NMPF urged the Administration to “secure firm and explicit commitments assuring the future use of specific generic food and beverage terms targeted by or at risk of EU monopolization efforts” and noted that last year more than 160 Senators and Republicans had urged the pursuit of that policy.