U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today praised the House for passing legislation to repeal country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat.
“I applaud the House for its swift action to prevent retaliation from Canada and Mexico,” said Roberts. “My counterpart in the House, Chairman Mike Conaway, has done an incredible job leading a bipartisan and decisive charge to protect American agriculture.
“I am continuing to take suggestions from my colleagues in the Senate for alternatives that meet our trade obligations. However, almost a month has passed since the WTO ruling was announced, and repeal remains the surest way to protect the American economy from retaliatory tariffs.
“We can sit here and let this happen. Or we can move. Let’s get a move on.”
First authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill, COOL requires information detailing where livestock were born, raised and slaughtered. On May 18, the WTO handed down its fourth and final ruling against the U.S. that the COOL label creates an unfair advantage to U.S. products.
Canada and Mexico have indicated that a North American label will not prevent retaliation. Canadian Agriculture Minister has explicitly stated that “a full repeal of COOL is the United States’ only option to avoid retaliation.”