CCFN Encourages U.S. Ag Secretary to Stress Objections to GIs in European Meetings

March 2nd, 2020

While meeting with European officials in Belgium and Italy in January, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue reiterated the U.S. position that illegitimate geographical indications (GIs) are unacceptable.

As reported in Agri-Pulse, Perdue cited the “hypocrisy” of some of the EU’s GIs as a hurdle in a U.S.-EU trade deal. Perdue said he discussed the role of European immigrants in the founding of the United States who “used the same language that they used in Europe over these products.”

“Greece is known for its feta cheese, and there’s not really a Feta, Greece,” he added. “There’s certainly not a Feta, France, where France exports feta cheese to the United States, but they cannot export it internally within the EU.”

CCFN Executive Director Jaime Castaneda wrote to Secretary Purdue in advance of his European trip to encourage him to emphasize U.S. objections to the EU’s misuse of GIs.

“I trust this will also provide an excellent opportunity to discuss with your Italian counterpart the impact that Italian GIs are having on U.S. exporters,” Castaneda wrote, “and the need for reforms to address these impediments to trade.”