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House votes to repeal COOL

The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to scrap country-of-origin labeling for beef, chicken and pork.

The congressional action comes after the World Trade Organization issued a final ruling last month declaring COOL rules to be discriminatory to Canada and Mexico, opening a path for those two countries to seek retaliatory tariffs.

In a statement, FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin expressed support for the House action on COOL.

“Clinging to a failed law in the face of economic harm simply does not make sense. Even the USDA’s own economic analysis of COOL found that it hurt producers, packers, retailers and consumers without offering any clear economic benefits in return. COOL needs to be changed.”

NGA president and CEO Peter Larkin also commended the measure.

"NGA has long expressed concerns over the mandatory COOL requirements. Aside from impacting supermarket operators' bottom line, should the U.S. remain non-compliant with the WTO's rules, it will cause market and supply dislocations, adversely affect jobs, business operations, and international trade.”

The Senate is still debating how to move forward on COOL to comply with the WTO ruling.

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