The European Commission and Defra have dismissed reports that protection for EU products such as Cornish pasties could be weakened under the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.

German farming minister Christian Schmidt had raised concerns that current rules would not continue if the trade agreement with the US goes ahead.

There are currently 62 British products covered by the EU Protected Food Name scheme, which highlights regional and traditional foods, giving legal protection against imitation.

These include Cumberland sausage and Melton Mowbray pork pies, which have PGI status, as well as Cornish Pasties.

“In the framework of TTIP, as with any other trade agreement negotiation, the goal of the Commission is to extend the protection certain products already get on the EU market to the concerned market,” a European Commission spokesman said.

A Defra statement said: “TTIP will provide a valuable opportunity for the UK food and drink industries to promote their products in the US market, worth millions to our economy.

“We want to ensure the TTIP promotes and opens markets for high-quality British produce.”