Protecting our Economy from Washington's Overreach


Date: June 15, 2015

Most ideas in Washington start out with good intentions. Unfortunately, the negative consequences of those ideas almost always outweigh the positives.

In 2002, the United States adopted Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) mandates, requiring retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling for fresh beef, pork, and lamb.

Since then, COOL has been challenged repeatedly in the World Trade Organization (WTO) by Canada and Mexico. In fact, just last month, the WTO's Appellate Body ruled against COOL for the fourth and final time. As a result, Canada and Mexico will now seek more than $3 billion in sanctions from the U.S. each year -- affecting products ranging from meat and wheat to wine, chocolate and even furniture.

These onerous and expensive mandates do significant damage to crucial trade relationships with Canada and Mexico, two of our closest allies and strongest trading partners.

That is why I recently helped introduce the Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act, which repeals COOL requirements for beef, pork, and chicken retailers. I was glad to see this bill pass the House by a bipartisan 300-131 vote last week.

Without reform, COOL would force Canada and Mexico to look outside of the United States for business, hurting farmers and threatening our nation's overall economy. I am glad to see the House take action to repeal these requirements in a bipartisan, common-sense way.


Sam Graves