CCFN Cheers Common Name Protections in Phase One China Deal

March 2nd, 2020

CCFN commended the U.S. Administration in January for its accomplishments in the first phase of a trade agreement between the United States and China, which creates new safeguards regarding market access for common-name products.

CCFN, together with its members, the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Milk Producers Federation, worked extensively with U.S. and Chinese trade officials to create new transparency and due process obligations regarding geographical indications (GIs) to help guard against future restrictions on common food names in China.

“American producers and manufacturers are unduly harmed when foreign nations intentionally misuse geographical indications to restrict fair competition,” said CCFN Executive Director Jaime Castaneda. “We are grateful that the U.S. Trade Representative and his team of negotiators recognized the severity of these trade barriers to U.S. growth in China and took decisive action to improve protections for common food names.”

China’s commitments on GIs in the Phase One deal prohibit future trade agreements from using GIs to undermine market access for U.S. exports of products using common food names, preserve the ability for the U.S. to challenge and pursue cancellation of any GI applications, lay out clearer indicators of generic status, and mandate greater clarity regarding the scope of protection for multi-term GIs. These provisions reflect the types of systemic improvements that CCFN has been pressing for in China over the last several years.