Ohio senators urge Obama to protect Ohio meat producers

Administration asked to fight European effort to harm U.S. exports in free trade agreement
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Apr 8, 2014

As negotiations continue for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Europe, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) urged the Administration to protect Ohio meat producers from a European Union (EU) initiative that would harm U.S. exports.

In order to unfairly promote European meat products, the EU has attempted to restrict American meat producers’ ability to use common names for their products such as bologna, black forest ham, bratwurst, kielbasa, and wiener schnitzel, among others.

“We urge you to continue to push back against the EU’s efforts to restrict our meat exports, particularly to nations with which we already have free trade agreements,” Brown, Portman and their colleagues said. “We urge you to make clear to your EU counterparts that the United States will reject any proposal in TTIP negotiations that would in any way restrict the ability of U.S. producers to use common meat names, such as bologna or black forest ham.”

In a bipartisan letter signed by more than 40 of their Senate colleagues, Brown and Portman urged the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to fight EU efforts to prohibit American meat producers from using several common names for their products. The EU claims that names such as bologna and black forest ham are “geographical indicators” that can only be appropriately displayed on products made in certain areas of Europe. If the United States were to be subjected to a ban of these traditional brand names for various meats, it would hurt American meat producers’ ability to compete domestically and abroad against foreign competition.

Last month, Brown and Portman took similar efforts to protect Ohio’s agriculture industry. The EU is also attempting to change common names for cheeses frequently purchased by Americans, which would harm Ohio dairy farmers and producers.