This morning, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled once more against the United States with regard to Country of Origin Labeling requirements. Canada and Mexico, America's two leading trade partners, have repeatedly charged that the requirements violate longstanding trade agreements. With this ruling, these countries may now proceed with retaliatory tariffs. In a recent op-ed at the Detroit News, Dr. Benishek explained how these tariffs will hurt jobs and businesses in Michigan. Michigan exports over $3.2 billion worth of agricultural products alone that would be subject to punishing tariffs if changes are not made.
"This ruling is a confirmation of what I have always held: COOL requirements will result in higher costs for American consumers without providing any real benefit. Our nearest and largest trading partner is just across the border in Canada, and this ruling will impact everything from cherry farmers in Traverse City to car parts in Detroit. We must revise these standards before retaliatory tariffs start putting families out of work in Northern Michigan," said Dr. Benishek, a member of the Committee on Agriculture.
Later today, a bi-partisan coalition of legislators, including Dr. Benishek, is expected to introduce legislation to repeal the Country of Origin Label for beef, poultry, and pork, thereby averting costly, retaliatory tariffs from the United States' largest trading partners.