August 29, 2014

Baldwin joins fight over product names (AUDIO)

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

The European Union wants to block the use of region-specific names on a variety of products not directly produced in those areas. The move could force changes on a long list of items made in Wisconsin, such as staples like Parmesan cheese, Bavarian beer, and even bratwurst.

The EU argues allowing those geographic indicators to be used on products made outside of a specific location weakens the name, although U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin contends that those terms have become so common that most consumers associate them with a specific type of product, not where they were made. The Wisconsin Democrat says that “frankly…some of our Wisconsin processors are making better forms of those products than the home countries.”

AUDIO: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (1:11)

Baldwin and a group of bipartisan lawmakers are calling on the US Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies to stand up for American businesses and resist all efforts to strip products of the region-specific names. She worries it could result in widespread confusion among consumers and make it difficult to market American-made products around the world.

KFIZ’s Bob Nelson contributed to this report.