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IDFA, Others Offer House Briefing on GIs

Sep 21, 2016
Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international relations, explained how the EU’s stance on GIs would be harmful to U.S. companies.

IDFA and four other organizations hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill this week covering a key trade issue at stake during ongoing negotiations with the European Union about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). Specifically, the briefing focused on geographical indications (GIs), which is a highly contested topic in the agreement. It drew 30 attendees, including staff members of Representatives who serve on the House Dairy Farmer Caucus and agriculture and judiciary committees.

Although the trade talks have been slowed by the United Kingdom’s vote to secede from the EU and dampened by statements from senior French and German government officials, lead negotiators for the United States and the EU hold firm that a deal can be completed by the end of the year. The next round of negotiations for T-TIP is scheduled for October 3.

Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, joined representatives of the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Milk Producers Federation, the North American Meat Institute and the Wine Institute to explain how the EU’s stance on GIs would be harmful to many U.S. companies. If included in the agreement, the GI provisions could stop U.S. companies from using many common food names like parmesan, champagne, feta and bologna in the United States and markets around the world.

“A fair trade deal would not impose restrictions like these on market access and intellectual property rights,” she said.

For more information, contact Hughes at bhughes@idfa.org.

 
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