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Rep. Ron Kind Helps Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging the Administration to Protect Access to Overseas Markets for Wisconsin Producers

November 2, 2020
Press Release

La Crosse, WI – Today, Rep. Ron Kind helped lead 111 of his colleagues in a bipartisan letter calling on the Administration to make protecting common food and wine terms a priority in future trade discussions, ensuring access to fair trade rules for Wisconsin farmers, workers, and businesses. 

This comes amid concerns that the European Union is misusing protections meant for Geographic Indicators (GI) - used to describe specialized products they claim to be from specific regions, such as bologna, parmesan, chateau and feta - to enact unfair trade barriers to block American exports.   

“Here in Wisconsin, we’re proud of the word-class food and beverages made in our state,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “It’s critical that we continue to combat unfair trade practices that hold our producers back and work to put in place safeguards for common food name products. I’m committed to ensuring Wisconsin producers can compete on a level playing field and expanding opportunities for Wisconsin’s farmers, workers and businesses so they can continue to succeed in the global economy.”   

“This issue – keeping common cheese names available around the world – is crucial to the growth of Wisconsin’s $46 billion dairy farming and dairy manufacturing industry. Generations of Wisconsin cheesemakers craft cheese styles that rival or best European cheeses in international competitions. Cheese styles and names in use for decades, if not centuries, should not be taken away from America’s dairy industry as we build successful trade in global markets,” said John Umhoefer, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Executive Director. 

Rep. Kind serves on the Trade Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means. The committee is the most powerful - and the oldest - committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over trade and tariff laws, as well as many other economic growth measures. 

Read the letter here.