This is from Canada's "technical summary" of CETA:
- Limited GI rights provided to EU on: Asiago, feta, fontina, Gorgonzola and Munster
- won’t affect ability of current users of these names in Canada to continue use
- future users will be able to use the names only when accompanied by expressions such as “kind,” “type,” style,” “imitation” or the like
I'm no GI expert, but I was recently talking to two friends/colleagues about this issue, and here are some questions that occur to me as a result of those conversations.
In CETA, as quoted above, Canada has promised to give some GI protection to particular EU cheeses. But how exactly does that promise affect American or other non-EU producers?
Note that the CETA summary refers to "users of these names in Canada." I take it that means the new rules would apply to all producers, regardless of where they make the product. The key is "use" in the Canadian market, not place of production.
So, just to spell this all out, let's say an American company who does not currently export Munster cheese to Canada decides it would like to do so. That would make it a "future user", I think, under the language quoted above, and thus it could only use the word Munster on its product if it uses "kind", etc. to qualify it. (I think that's what the rules will require, but I confess that I'm not completely sure about this.)
And finally, if it is the case that future Amercan Munster cheese exporters come along and are affected by this restriction on their ability to sell in the Canadian market, will the U.S. complain about this under some other trade agreement? Would they file a NAFTA or WTO complaint? How would CETA and NAFTA/WTO rules interact on this point?