Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president, and John Kelly, IDFA manager of international affairs, attended the 14th round of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement held last week in Leesburg, Va. They discussed several issues that are important to dairy manufacturers, such as strong regulatory provisions that will facilitate dairy trade, and intellectual property provisions that will safeguard the continued use of common cheese names in growing dairy markets.
The TPP is a plural-lateral trade negotiation that currently includes Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Mexico and Canada are expected to join the talks officially during the next round in December.
IDFA and the Consortium for Common Food Names co-hosted a luncheon for intellectual property negotiators on the issue of geographic indications and the rights of U.S. exporters to market cheeses using common names such as “Parmesan” in TPP countries. The consortium was founded in March to defend the right to use common food names and to establish a fair model for protecting both common names and legitimate geographic indications.
IDFA also participated in a coalition of other stakeholders that met with negotiators to stress the importance of strong and enforceable provisions that will address regulatory trade issues and facilitate regulatory coherence among TPP parties.
While the negotiations have made considerable progress, much work remains on several issues.
"IDFA views the TPP as a good venue to address these kinds of non-tariff trade barriers," said Kelly. "The agreement's focus on the important Asia-Pacific market and potential for expanding to other dairy markets in the region make it an important vehicle for establishing a fair and efficient system of international trade for dairy products."
The 15th round will be held December 3-12 in Auckland, New Zealand.
For more details, contact Kelly at email@example.com.