The US House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass a bill repealing the mandatory country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken.
Under threats of trade retaliation from Mexico and Canada, the Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act was passed by a vote of 300-131.
Last month, the World Trade Organization ruled that the labeling requirements were discriminatory against both of the US border countries which said they would seek to impose tariffs worth billions on American products. This recent ruling by WTO was the fourth and final decision on the law. In its three previous decisions, WTO it has ruled against the COOL law.
“I am thankful for the support of my colleagues today in passing this common-sense, bipartisan bill that is a necessary targeted response to avoid retaliation from Canada and Mexico,” said Michael Conaway, R-TX, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee who introduced the bill to repeal the law. “Two of our top trading partners announced earlier this month their intention to seek more than $3 billion in retaliatory sanctions against US exports. This would extend far beyond the agriculture industry and would hurt nearly every sector of the US economy. H.R. 2393 will prevent retaliation and bring the US back into compliance, and I urge my colleagues in the senate to act quickly on this urgent matter.”
The country-of-origin labeling law, or COOL law, would require a label to be placed on meat packages detailing where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered. Consumer groups lobbied for the rule, but Canada and Mexico complained about it to the WTO, which sided with them.