Farm Bill Could Draw Trade Retaliation

Cindy Zimmerman

nppc_logoLivestock organizations and food associations are concerned that their members will face economic harm because the farm bill out of conference committee this week makes no changes to the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling law (COOL).

Canada and Mexico filed a complaint over the law with the World Trade Organization, which is expected to rule on it next month. If the WTO rules against the United States, Canada and Mexico are set to place retaliatory tariffs on dozens of U.S. products – including beef, pork, furniture and bakery goods.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president Scott George, National Association of Manufacturers director of international trade policy Jessica Lemos, and National Pork Producers Council president Randy Spronk held a media conference call on Tuesday to discuss their concerns. Opening comments

“The released bill is a slap in the face of every livestock producer in the country,” said George, a cattle producer from Wyoming.

“If Country of Origin labeling isn’t fixed, and the farm bill is the best vehicle to do that, pork producers like me will suffer and so will dozens of other U.S. businesses,” said Spronk of Minnesota.

Lemos added that a variety of industries will be impacted if Mexico and Canada retaliates over the labeling law. “That is simply an unacceptable outcome,” she said.

Listen to or download complete call here: NCBA-NPPC Media Call

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