Efforts Against GIs Must Focus on Preserving Market Access for Common Food and Beverage Names, Organizations Tell New U.S. Trade Ambassador

March 26th, 2021

ARLINGTON, VA – A broad cross section of national food, agriculture and beverage associations called on new U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to preserve U.S. exporter’s market access rights by proactively protecting their rights to use common food and beverage terms around the world and rejecting EU-led efforts to hamstring global competition by monopolizing use of those terms. In their letter, the organizations called out the continued use of EU trade agreements to impose trade barriers barring U.S. and other competitors’ ability from competing on a level playing field in the sale of various common food and beverage products.

“Ambassador Tai is exceptionally qualified to lead the new Administration’s effort against the European Union’s repeated attempts to corner the market on generic food and beverage terms that are ubiquitous throughout markets globally,” said Jaime Castaneda, Executive Director of the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), which organized the letter.

In response to questions from Senators at her confirmation hearing, Tai noted that the U.S. secured historic protections for common food names in the USMCA. If confirmed to be USTR, Tai answered, Senators have her commitment to build on that success and to prioritize the use of common food names during future trade negotiations in addition to removing other non-tariff barriers to farmers and ranchers.

“Build Back Better means building better trade policy as well,” Castaneda continued. “Over 100 members of the House and 61 members of the Senate have made clear their desire to adopt strong and consistent U.S. trade policy objectives for concrete market access assurances for widely used common food and beverage terms. We look forward to working closely with Ambassador Tai and her team to translate that exhortation into real-world commitments that show that USTR has the backs of the American farmers and food workers making these products.”

The joint letter was signed by the following organizations:

Consortium for Common Food Names

American Farm Bureau Federation

Brewers Association

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Milk Producers Federation

North American Meat Institute

U.S. Dairy Export Council

Wine Institute