Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2685, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2016, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2393, Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015

Floor Speech

Date: June 10, 2015
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2393, the Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015, as well as the rule.

Mr. Speaker, we oftentimes hear the debate that the mandatory COOL label is about food safety and protecting our food supply. Let me be clear. Mandatory COOL labeling is not about food safety. No matter where our food comes from, regulations remain in place to ensure safety and traceability, regardless of origin. This debate is about the cost that a government-mandated marketing program is having on our economy.

The World Trade Organization has ruled against the United States four times in favor of Mexico and Canada, our largest trading partners. Over the next month, Canada and Mexico will begin seeking retaliatory damages against U.S. products from all over the country. In fact, Canada has already announced that it will seek more than $3 billion in retaliatory sanctions. These damages are real. They will affect farmers, manufacturers, and small-business owners in my State of Michigan and around the country.

Michigan's First District produces 70 percent of the tart cherries in the country. We export a lot of these cherries to Canada. Canada has placed cherries on the list for retaliatory sanctions.

We also produce other things in my district, like apples, pork, wine, maple syrup. Michigan is also famous for its auto and steel industry. Canada plans to target all of these things. These penalties are real. They will cost jobs, which is the last thing we can afford to lose right now.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill.