Connecticut’s Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal joined a bipartisan effort to protect cheese producers facing a European Union (EU) effort to limit product labeling on U.S. cheese exports to Mexico.The senators called on U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to reject an EU proposal to require the use of geographic indicators on cheese sold in Mexico. Under this proposal, U.S. chest producers could not use food names such as “feta,” “muenster” or “parmesan,” which would be reserved for European exports where these cheeses originated.
Lightizer is currently in negotiations with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement. “In light of Mexico’s proposed agreement with the EU, we are deeply concerned that American cheesemakers will be harmed by a reversal of their current access to the Mexican market and will be denied the opportunity to sell products to Mexican consumers using common cheese product names that have been marketed for decades,” the senators wrote in a letter to Lighthizer.
Along with Murphy and Blumenthal, New York’s Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand joined in this outreach.