House passes bill to repeal mandatory COOL

The House passed H.R. 2393, the Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act, by a vote of 300-131. Introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), H.R. 2393 amends the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946 to effectively repeal mandatory country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken. 

“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. Two of our top trading partners announced earlier this month their intention to seek more than $3 billion in retaliatory sanctions against U.S. exports. This would extend far beyond the agriculture industry and would hurt nearly every sector of the U.S. economy. H.R. 2393 will prevent retaliation and bring the U.S. back into compliance, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly on this urgent matter,” said Conaway.

“Today’s (June 10) 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. California exports billions of dollars of commodities and manufactured goods to Canada and Mexico, many of which are produced in the San Joaquin Valley. The tariff retaliations will cost California more than $1 billion, inflicting a devastating blow to the state’s economic well-being. Country of Origin Labeling is a very real problem that requires a legislative fix. The COOL Amendments Act will put the U.S. back in compliance with its international trade obligations and stop trade retaliations by two of the nation’s top export partners,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Committee.

“Today, the House of Representatives continued the work started in the House Committee on Agriculture to repeal the non-trade compliant COOL law. We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to send this legislation to the President in an effort to protect our American businesses. After multiple failed attempts at the World Trade Organization to bring the COOL law into compliance with our trading partners, Canada and Mexico, the House has done its part expeditiously to guarantee that no American industries are hurt through retaliation,” said Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Committee.  

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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