Mexico does not recognize certain cheeses with common names from the United States, questioned Ron Wyden, chairman of the United States Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Mike Crapo.
“With respect to Mexico, its failure to adopt measures to recognize certain common names of cheeses and its new conformity assessment requirements for imported dairy products are of great concern to US dairy producers seeking to access the market. Mexican”, said both senators in a letter sent to Catherine Tai, head of the White House trade representation (USTR).
In a complementary letter accompanying the USMCA, Mexico confirmed a list of 33 terms for cheese that will remain available as common names for US cheese producers to use in exporting cheeses to Mexico.
The list includes some terms that are protected as geographical indications by the European Union, such as Edam, Gouda and Brie.
The United States, Canada and Mexico agreed to provide procedural guarantees for the recognition of new geographical indications, which are place names used to identify products that come from certain regions or locations.
Likewise, the provisions of the USMCA include guidelines for determining whether a term is a common name or a protected geographical indication, grounds for opposition and cancellation of a geographical indication and the treatment of these indications under agreements with third parties.
In addition, both senators argued that the Mexican government has campaigned to reduce imports of food and agricultural products from the United States by attacking the reputation of imported products, even calling them harmful to the health of Mexican consumers.
This also occurs through restricting their location on store shelves, and preventing the legitimate use of trademarks.
At the same time, they added, Mexico’s invocation of consumer awareness (albeit without the backing of evidence or international standards) to defend its measures is notable given its history of attacking legitimate consumer information awareness efforts such as the label of Dolphin-safe tuna from the United States.
The USMCA has the potential to deliver tangible benefits to US workers, farmers, and businesses, enhancing and strengthening the relationship between the United States and its two closest traditional partners.
“However, that potential will not be realized without the full implementation and execution of the agreement as written,” they urged.