by Ben Nuelle
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, highlighted the World Trade Organization’s decision Monday. WTO authorizes Canada and Mexico to place tariffs on over $1 billion of American-made goods.
This retaliation amount is the result of the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law. The authorization requires meat labels detailing where livestock were born, raised and slaughtered.
Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said the U.S. is out of chances.
“As I’ve said time and time again, whether you support or oppose COOL, the fact is retaliation is coming,” said Chairman Roberts. “Today, the WTO announced just how much that retaliation will cost the U.S. economy. With the WTO announcement, farmers, ranchers and small businesses will soon be smacked with over $1 billion in tariffs.”
Roberts said many states will be affected if congress doesn’t repeal COOL.
“Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin each have roughly $1 billion in exports at risk in the Canadian retaliation alone,” Roberts said.
COOL was first authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill and amended in the 2008 Farm Bill. The WTO has upheld multiple times Canada and Mexico’s claim the label creates an unfair advantage to U.S. products.
The U.S. Senate has debated mandatory COOL for nearly three decades, and Chairman Roberts has opposed mandatory COOL from its inception. During the 2014 Farm Bill negotiations, Senator Roberts pushed for repeal.
In June 2015, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on COOL and trade retaliation. Chairman Roberts has also spoke on the Senate floor regarding COOL retaliation and introduced legislation to repeal COOL and prevent retaliation.