New steps needed to ensure countries fully
vet geographical indications
In testimony today before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) urged the U.S. Administration to secure “firm and explicit commitments” with trading partners to assure the future use of specific generic food and beverage names targeted by EU monopolization efforts, and to reject the use of GIs as barriers to trade.
Morris expressed appreciation for the Administration’s focus on tearing down trade barriers that hinder U.S. competitiveness, but said that without further commitments that reject illegitimate GIs, U.S. companies are likely to run into further obstacles. That’s because EU governments and stakeholders continue to pursue an agenda to monopolize popular generic names with key trading partners.
CCFN provided written and oral testimony as the USTR prepares its annual review on the status of intellectual property rights protections in its trading relationships around the globe (Special 301 Report). The agency is expected to release the 2020 Special 301 Report this spring.