House Approves Repeal of Meat Origin Labeling Law
The House of Representatives on June 10 voted to repeal the mandatory country of origin labeling requirements for meat products that the World Trade Organization has determined violate U.S. multilateral obligations by discriminating against livestock imports from Canada and Mexico. Those two countries have threatened to pursue billions of dollars’ worth of retaliatory measures against U.S. exports but quick congressional action to repeal the COOL requirements would prevent that from happening. However, the path forward for the repeal legislation in the Senate is uncertain at this time.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, stated that passage of the COOL Amendments Act “is a critical step towards ensuring that the United States is no longer burdened by a law that harms our economy and our nation’s beef, pork, and poultry producers.” Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., applauded the House passage of the COOL repeal but admitted that he is “continuing to take suggestions from my colleagues in the Senate for alternatives that meet our trade obligations.” Sen. Roberts believes, however, that a “repeal remains the surest way to protect the American economy from retaliatory tariffs.”