Defending Common Terms Continues to Lead Congressional Agenda

December 1st, 2020

“Congress has spoken loudly; it is time for stronger action by the U.S. government.”

That was the quote from Jaime Castaneda, Executive Director of the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), following the release of a bipartisan letter sent by 111 members of the U.S. Congress urging stronger protections for American-made food and wine exports using common terms.

“For far too long, Europe has used unjustified trade barriers to block competition from high-quality American-made cheese, meat and wine exports. Europe is undermining global trade rules and weakening intellectual property system protections internationally,” Castaneda continued. “Today’s letter is an important reminder that we must raise the bar in our efforts in order to prevail in creating agricultural trade policy that works for the world, not just the European Union.”

The letter asks the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make safeguarding common food and wine terms a core policy objective in all current and future trade negotiations. The effort was led by Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Angie Craig (D-MN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Ron Kind (D-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA). A similar letter sent in July was signed by 61 senators.

Once again, this letter was made possible through CCFN’s work and close coordination with member organizations the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the North American Meat Institute, as well as with allies at the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the Wine Institute. CCFN members all across the country also played a critical role in reaching out to members of Congress to urge their support for this message.