Trade Resources Industry Views Us Voted for a Law That Mandates COOL for Beef, Pork and Poultry

Us Voted for a Law That Mandates COOL for Beef, Pork and Poultry

The US House of Representatives has voted 300-131 for repealing a law that mandates country-of-origin labels (COOL) for beef, pork and poultry.

The voting follows threats of trade measures from Canada and Mexico, which have been opposing the American labeling requirements.

The labels provide consumers details about where the bird or animal was born, raised and slaughtered, pursuant to the legal provisions made in 2009.

Canada and Mexico have complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the law is making their expensive in the US.

The WTO has turned down a US appeal last month, upholding that the labels on the meat packages exemplified discrimination against the two other American countries.

Canada and Mexico have recently sought approval from the WTO to slap $3bn in tariffs against the US, as part of their trade retaliation. While Canada has sought $2.47bn from the US, Mexico had decided to go ahead with $653m in sanctions.

Canada had also sought to put US products, such as meat, wine, chocolate, jewelry and furniture under restriction. The repeal of the labeling law is being viewed as an effort by the US to save its industries.

Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz told Associated Press: "The only way for the US to avoid billions in retaliation by late summer is to ensure legislation repealing (country of origin labeling) passes the Senate and is signed by the president."

However, a few US lawmakers are against the repeal, terming it an overreaction to the WTO ruling.

District of Minnesota representative Collin Peterson was quoted by The Detroit News as saying: "Most other countries have labeling. The American people want to know where their agricultural products came from.

"We understand we can't get into a situation with retaliation, but this is a rush to judgment that's not necessary."

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US Scraps Meat Labeling Law Fearing Trade Restrictions From Canada, Mexico