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Dairy Facts 2016

Senators Urge Push Back on EU’s Claim to Common Cheese Names

Mar 12, 2014

On the threshold of the fourth round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks, over half of the Senate signed a bipartisan letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to push back against the European Union’s (EU) effort to restrict U.S. dairy companies from using commonly used cheese names such as parmesan and feta. 

For several years now the EU has been using free trade agreements as a vehicle to deny U.S. dairy companies the use of common cheese names in third country markets. The letter coauthored by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), urges USTR and USDA to reject any attempt the EU is seeking in the context of the TTIP negotiations to claim exclusive use of common cheese names abroad and in the U.S. domestic market. 

“These lawmakers understand the importance of lifting trade barriers and fighting the kinds of restrictions that have the capacity to stall job growth in the United States and limit our expanding dairy export market. Protecting the ability of U.S. cheese makers to use common cheese names is a top priority for IDFA. TTIP is an opportunity to lift trade barriers, not impose new ones,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO.

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, director of international affairs, at

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