(KISSIMMEE, FLA) – “This week, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 2393, a bill that effectively will repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef, pork and chicken. The Florida Cattlemen’s Association (FCA) commends the House Agriculture Committee on their approval of this measure. H.R. 2393 is a bi-partisan bill co-sponsored by 73 Members of Congress, with Florida Congressmen Ted Yoho and Tom Rooney as the original co-sponsors. In addition, Yoho and Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham (both members of the House Agriculture Committee) voted for passage of H.R. 2393 in the committee mark-up.
“FCA fully supports the efforts of the Agriculture Committee, Congresswoman Graham, Congressman Yoho, Congressman Rooney, and others in their effort to repeal a mandatory, government program that is not only extremely costly to maintain, but also simply doesn’t work. In the face of the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against the U.S. and COOL, Congress must repeal COOL or the United States will face sanctions from our biggest trading partners.
“In Florida alone, the proposed sanctions (based on the WTO ruling, and Canada’s preeminence as a trading partner) are in excess of $51 million. Nationwide that number climbs to over $783 million. These sanctions include direct impacts of $17 million on frozen Florida orange juice, $13 million on jewelry, and millions more on other non-related products.
“If the threat of retaliatory tariffs were not enough, USDA in their report to Congress stated that COOL has not increased consumer demand for beef, nor had any substantial impact on the price of beef. This program with no demand or price change has an implementation cost of $1.3 billion for beef alone. This program is certainly in the red, and neither the Beef Industry nor our national economy can afford its troubled existence.
“FCA will continue to support H.R. 2393 as it moves through the legislative process.”
About the Florida Cattlemen’s Association
Florida Cattlemen’s Association is a statewide non-profit organization, established in 1934. It is devoted entirely and exclusively to promoting and protecting the ability of cattlemen members to produce and market their products. For more information, visit www.floridacattlemen.org or find us on Facebook.