EU, Mexico, Canada discuss USMCA
November 26, 2018
The agricultural counselors from Canada, Mexico and the European Union recently held a discussion on trade at the European Delegation to the United States.
During the Nov. 8 discussion, Jesus Zorrilla, the agriculture counselor at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, noted that the European Union is involved in several trade negotiations at the moment and said he believes the EU can be "polygamous" in its trade relationships.
Zorilla, Gizem Eras of the Canadian Embassy, Luis Martinez of the Mexican Embassy all agreed that the provisions on geographical indicators and common food names in the U.S.-Mexican-Canada Agreement would not hamper the implementation of the GI provisions in the free trade agreements that the European Union has reached with Canada and Mexico.
National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern, who has long been critical of the European GI system, has praised the USMCA for including "for the first time an acknowledgment by the United States of the concept of generic food names, an objective that NMPF and CCFN (the Consortium for Common Food Names) has pursued for many years."
In addition, Mulhern said, he expects "Canada and Mexico will be adopting the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership)-plus GI parameters that will make it more difficult for the EU to registered new GIs that are common food names."
The use of geographical indicators to protect the names of European cheeses is the subject of intense disagreement between the United States and the European countries. After the discussion, the attendees were invited to a tasting of European and American cheeses.