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CCFN Urges Trump Administration to Escalate Opposition to Geographical Indications Policies

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)

The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), to which NAMI belongs, testified before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to encourage the Trump Administration to aggressively oppose geographical indications (GI) policies designed to help European farmers, food producers and others by forcing non-Europeans to rebrand familiar products with unfamiliar names. CCFN urged Trump’s trade policy team to continue and intensify U.S. opposition to European efforts to use geographical indications to confiscate common names and shield its producers from competition from other countries.

CCFN noted that the European Union’s (EU) strategy threatens to restrict U.S. producers from using food names like bologna and many others long considered generic worldwide. If successful, such restrictions could force food companies to relabel these products with names like ground meat sausage, according to the testimony. The EU has pursued its GI strategy largely through free trade agreements and through the World Intellectual Property Organization, bypassing normal procedures and making it difficult for others to object or influence decisions on GIs.

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