Support for COOL repeal keeps growing

Jun 8, 2015 Issues: Country of Origin Labeling

Today, the COOL Reform Coalition sent Congress a letter to express strong support for H.R. 2393, the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Amendments Act of 2015. House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) introduced the bipartisan bill, along with several of his colleagues, and the House Agriculture Committee approved the bill on May 20, 2015. 

The COOL Reform Coalition’s letter is below, along with the list of more than 100 groups supporting H.R. 2393.

June 8, 2015 

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: 

As members of the COOL Reform Coalition, we write to express our strong support for H.R. 2393, the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Amendments Act of 2015. Thanks to bipartisan leadership in the House of Representatives, this legislation, introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), would effectively respond to last month’s World Trade Organization (WTO) final ruling against the U.S. COOL requirements for muscle cuts of beef and pork. 

On May 29, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body adopted the fourth and final report that confirms the U.S. COOL requirements for muscle cuts of beef and pork violate U.S. international trade obligations. Canada and Mexico are moving to institute retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports as soon as possible. So, it is now critical that Congress enact corrective legislation before adjourning for August recess.  

Likely targets of retaliatory tariffs are clear. Canada has issued a preliminary retaliation list targeting a broad spectrum of commodities and manufactured products that would affect every state in the country. Mexico has not announced a preliminary retaliation list, but has implemented retaliatory tariffs in the past which may be indicative of future tariff opportunities. Reports indicate that the retaliatory tariffs could total over $3.5 billion in the first year. We invite you to review the state-by-state retaliatory analysis available at www.COOLReform.com

Given the negative impact on the U.S. manufacturing and agriculture economies, we respectfully submit that it would be intolerable for the United States to maintain, even briefly, requirements that have been deemed non-compliant by the WTO rules that the U.S. was instrumental in writing. This is especially true because experience has shown that once such export sales are lost, it takes years to recover market share. Retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. would leave exports punished, farm prices depressed, businesses hurt and jobs lost. 

We respectfully urge you to vote in favor of H.R. 2393 when it comes to the House floor later this week. 

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter and for helping save American food production, agriculture and manufacturing from severe economic harm.

Sincerely, 

Abbott
Agri Beef Co. 
Alabama Grocers Association
American Bakers Association
American Beverage Association
American Feed Industry Association
American Frozen Food Institute
American Peanut Product Manufacturers, Inc. 
American Seed Trade Association
American Soybean Association
Amway
Anheuser-Busch
Animal Health Institute
Appvion
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Baker Boy
Bel Brands USA
Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers’ Association
Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association
California Apple Commission
Campbell Soup Company
Cargill, Incorporated
Carolinas Food Industry Council 
The Coca-Cola Company 
ConAgra Foods, Inc. 
Corn Refiners Association
Dean Foods Company
The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., Inc.
Emergency Committee for American Trade 
Food & Consumer Products of Canada 
Food Marketing Institute 
General Mills
Glier's Meats Inc
Georgia Food Industry Association
Glanbia USA 
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Herbalife Ltd.
The Hershey Company
Hormel Foods Corporation 
International Dairy Foods Association
International Fragrance Association, North America
International Franchise Association 
International Sleep Products Association
JBS USA
Kellogg Company
Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
Leprino Foods Company
Mars, Incorporated 
Michigan Grocers Association
Midwest Food Processors Association
Missouri Grocers Association
Mondelez International
National Association of Egg Farmers 
National Association of Manufacturers
National Beef Packing Co., LLC 
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 
National Confectioners Association
National Corn Growers Association 
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives 
National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) 
National Grain and Feed Association
National Grocers Association 
National Oilseed Processors Association 
National Pork Producers Council 
National Renderers Association
National Retail Federation 
Nestlé USA
North American Meat Institute 
Northwest Horticultural Council 
OFD Foods, Inc. 
Ohio Grocers Association
Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association
Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association
PepsiCo
Pernod Ricard USA
Pet Food Institute
Red Gold, Inc.
Remy International, Inc.
Rocky Mountain Food Industry Association
Seaboard Corporation 
Smithfield Foods
Snack Food Association
Sweetener Users Association 
Tate & Lyle Americas
Texas Retailers Association
Tyson Foods, Inc. 
Unilever
USA Rice Federation 
U.S. Apple Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association
U.S. Premium Beef
United States Council for International Business 
Utah Food Industry Association
Utah Retail Merchants Association
Vermont Retail & Grocers Association
Wal Mart Stores, Inc. 
Washington Food Industry Association
Washington State Potato Commission
WineAmerica
Wine Institute