Pork organizations urge Senate to repeal COOL

Today, the National Pork Producers Council and several state pork groups issued a letter to Senators urging them to support H.R. 2393, the “Country of Origin Labeling Amendment Act of 2015,” which repeals the labeling requirements for pork, beef and poultry.

The NPPC and 34 state pork organizations spelled out the importance of repealing the U.S. country-of-origin labeling law, as it has been deemed by the World Trade Organization to be non-compliant with international trade principles because of the forced segregation of hogs and cattle.

Upon the WTO ruling, Canada and Mexico have requested over $3 billion in combined retaliatory tariffs be imposed on U.S. exports unless COOL is repealed. In the letter to Senators, the pork groups wrote: “Make no mistake, the WTO will soon authorize retaliation – and the level will be very high. The retaliatory tariffs will stay in place until Canada and Mexico remove them. Canada and Mexico are insisting that they will not remove the tariffs until there is a full repeal of COOL.”

The pork groups went on to stress the importance of export markets to the U.S. pork industry, “Since 1989, our exports have grown by over 1,500% to $6.67 billion in 2014. Exports helped add $63 to the price of each hog marketed last year. Furthermore, pork exports support more than 147,000 U.S. jobs. Canada and Mexico are the third and second largest export markets, respectively, for U.S. pork. In 2014, U.S. pork exports to Mexico were $1.55 billion and exports to Canada were $904 million. A retaliatory tariff would cause severe economic harm to not only U.S. pork producers but also to U.S. agriculture and manufacturing.”

To read the full letter, including the full list of supporting pork organizations, click here. 

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