The United States do not recognize the products with protected designation of origin (PDO) which will have a direct effect on several Greek products that will lose the status of exclusivity.
According to Deutche Welle, the issue was highlighted by the Austrian MEP Elisabeth Köstinger during a debate this week in the European Parliament. Köstinger, the vice president of the Federation of Agricultural Associations of Austria claimed that Europe has more than 3,000 “protected goods”, but their legal protection is at risk in case of a future Euro-American free trade area.
“The products with designation of origin and geographical indications (PGI) constitute a particular characteristic of Europe due to its long tradition in high-quality crops,” said the Austrian MEP to Deutsche Welle. “But for Americans all these commercial barriers, for example, the wine producers in California would like to produce their own champagne,” said Köstinger, pointing out that the European farmers and the European Union must protect their products.
The Greek traditional cheese, feta as well as other Greek delicacies are classified as PDO. Recently, Greece ‘s Minister for Rural Development, George Karasmanis met in Luxembourg with his U.S. counterpart Tom Vilsack to discuss the issue of PDO.
Fifty five U.S. senators in a joint letter have asked for the abolition of “restrictions” in the names of cheeses, including feta. Elisabeth Köstinger urges the EU to react. Will Europeans manage to convince Americans? “That depends on the negotiation skill of the European Commission,” she says.
Köstinger has stressed that the European Parliament has made it clear that it will not consent to a free trade agreement that repeals the designation of origin or other achievements of European producers.