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  December 30th, 2014 | Written by

To Brie or Not to Brie: U.S. Dairy Industry Lauds Protections

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Los Angeles, CA – The U.S. dairy industry is applauding the stronger protections being provided common food names that resulted from the recent meetings of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Chicago.

The protections “should facilitate export of a variety of U.S.-produced dairy products, particularly cheese, to China,” said Tom Suber, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).

“We are extremely pleased that the United States and China have agreed to strong protections for products using well-established cheese names as we seek to expand exports to this key market.”

The JCCT result “lays out common principles for how geographical indications should be handled, as well as a commitment to future dialogue on GIs [geographical indications] between the two countries,” said Suber.

The USDEC as joined by the National Milk Producers Association and the International Dairy Foods Association in lauding the new protections.

The trio of trade groups are the largest in the country representing the $125 billion U.S. dairy industry.

The issue of common food names and their relationship to GIs has generated considerable discussion this year due to European Union efforts to impose bans on the use of feta, parmesan, asiago, muenster and other common cheese names in international trade unless the products are produced in Europe.

The EU is using the ongoing Trans-Atlantic free trade negotiations “to impose these bans. In addition, it is seeking GI-specific agreements with individual countries, including China,” according to a joint statement from the three trade groups.