Pork Producers Hope Strong Congressional Support for COOL Repeal Will Prompt Senate Action

CANADA - The general manager of Manitoba Pork is hopeful strong Congressional support for the repeal of US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling will prompt similar action in the US Senate, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 15 June 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

Facing the threat of retaliatory tariffs on a wide range of products exported from the United States into Canada and Mexico, the US Congress voted Wednesday, by a margin of 300 to 131, to repeal Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling.

However the matter must still be addressed by the US Senate.

Manitoba Pork general manager Andrew Dickson is hopeful the strength of the Congressional vote, combined with growing pressure from US industry, will influence the Senate to pass a similar bill.

Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:

There's some major business coalitions have come together to oppose COOL, and not just farm organizations like the American Farm Bureau so much, has finally come out and said COOL needs to be fixed, but there's major trade associations of companies that are on that target list, and they are coming forth and saying to the US government and to the Congress, get this matter fixed quickly.
This is interfering in business, it's going to affect jobs, it's going to hurt people's incomes, livelihoods on both sides of the border, and over a matter that can be easily resolved by simply repealing the legislation.

And there are programs in place already with USDA to address this issue of Country of Origin Labelling.

There are voluntary programs in place that the US government has supported.

We've heard in some circles that maybe we need to sort of encourage producers to look at those options if people want this sort of information.

But it's on a basis of people wanting the information not a compulsory thing by government.

Mr Dickson anticipates major pressure on the Senate to deal with the issue before it breaks for its summer recess.

He notes if action is delayed, senators could be left with too little time when they return in September to act before tariffs take effect.

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