Following the World Trade Organization's (WTO) fourth ruling against the United States with regard to Country of Origin Labeling requirements, the U.S. House of Representatives passed today a bill to repeal the labels. Canada and Mexico, America's two leading trade partners, have repeatedly charged that the requirements violate longstanding trade agreements. Repeal of these labels would prevent costly, retaliatory tariffs from taking affect. 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.
"Cherry farmers, miners, autoworkers, and consumers all stand to lose if we do not act on this issue soon. I am pleased that the House worked diligently to pass this fix, and I am hopeful that the Senate and the President will do the same. Having a safe and traceable food supply is non-negotiable, but these labels further neither of those goals. The last thing Northern Michigan can afford right now is a loss of jobs and an increase of prices," said Dr. Benishek, a member of the Committee on Agriculture.
H.R. 2393, the "Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act," passed the House yesterday with a widely bipartisan vote of 300 to 131.