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Dairy Industry Applauds Secretary Perdue’s Commitment to Protect Common Names; Perdue Points at GIs as Trade Barriers

CONTACTS:

Luke Waring, USDEC
PHONE: (703) 528-3049
FAX: 703-528-3705
lwaring@usdec.org

Alan Bjerga, NMPF
PHONE: (703) 243-6111
FAX: 703-841-9328
abjerga@nmpf.org

Shawna Morris, CCFN
PHONE: (703) 528-4818
FAX: 703-528-3705
smorris@commonfoodnames.com

ARLINGTON, VA - The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) expressed appreciation for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's denunciation of geographical indications (GIs) as trade barriers.

During recent meetings with European agriculture and trade officials, Secretary Perdue made it clear that the European Union (EU) must drop its aggressive campaign to confiscate common food names in order to successfully negotiate a trade deal with the U.S. 

In response, USDEC, NMPF and CCFN issued the following joint statement:

"The EU's patently unfair trade policies, including the misuse of GI protections, have resulted in a lopsided trade dynamic where trade benefits only flow one-way: toward Europe. As Secretary Perdue rightly noted, Europe's unfair trade barriers have less to do with preserving the rights of legitimate GIs than with restricting competition from exceptional U.S. products.

"We commend Secretary Perdue for his firm stance defending the rights of U.S. farmers and food producers to use the common names consumers know and love. Dismantling EU trade barriers that drive the dairy deficit and cause undue harm to our industry must remain a top priority in negotiations with the EU."

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The U.S. Dairy Export Council is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. USDEC is supported by staff across the United States and overseas in Mexico, South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe. The U.S. Dairy Export Council prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital status, military status, and arrest or conviction record. www.usdec.org.

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF's cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S, milk supply, making NMPF the voice of nearly 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF's activities, visit www.nmpf.org.

The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) is an independent, international non-profit alliance whose goal is to work with leaders in agriculture, trade and intellectual property rights to foster the adoption of high standards and model geographical indication guidelines throughout the world. Those interested in joining can find information at www.CommonFoodNames.com.