The European Union is facing growing opposition at the World Trade Organisation to its stance on geographical indications.

The EU refuses to grant protection to traditional regional names of food products from non-EU countries, unless their governments roughly copy Europe’s own rules on the subject.

The United States has already launched a disputes proceeding at the WTO on this point and now Washington is being joined in formal talks with the EU on the issue by Mexico, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India and Australia, all food-exporting countries.

If the talks between Brussels and Washington fail to solve the issue, a WTO disputes panel will adjudicate.