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North American Meat Institute Praises Inclusion of Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling Repeal in Omnibus Bill

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Attribute Statement to North American Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter

Washington, DC-- “We are enormously grateful that lawmakers have included language in the Omnibus bill to repeal mandatory country of origin labeling for certain meat products. Our elected leaders recognize the need for the United States to live up to its international trade obligations. They also know that failing to repeal the provisions that triggered a protracted World Trade Organization (WTO) battle between the U.S. and its two most important trading partners, Canada and Mexico, has invited more than $1 billion in painful retaliatory tariffs. This Congressional action is an important step in avoiding the financial harm so many industries will incur once Canada and Mexico initiate the tariffs sanctioned by the WTO’s ruling earlier this month.

In addition to the 300 House members who voted to repeal mandatory COOL for beef and pork, we thank those who understood the urgent need for repealing mandatory country of origin labeling before retaliatory tariffs hit the U.S. economy. Many Representatives and Senators wrote letters and spoke with both leadership and their colleagues who were working to finalize the Omnibus. We are especially grateful to Chairman Conaway and Chairman Roberts, who worked hand in glove with Chairman Rogers, Chairman Cochran, Subcommittee Chairman Aderholt and Subcommittee Chairman Moran, who advocated for this important provision, and to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn and Rep. Costa, whose strong support was essential.

We urge Congress to pass the Omnibus bill quickly. This trade dispute’s tentacles extend far beyond agriculture and it’s time to put an end to this costly trade barrier. The marketplace, with consumers as the drivers, should determine what labeling is meaningful and should appear on meat products – not protectionists who fear free and unfettered trade.”

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