R-Calf Calls Efforts to Repeal COOL in the US Senate DeceitfulThu, 23 Jul 2015 06:48:51 CDT
The R-Calf organization has sent an email out to their supporters- making a last ditch effort to stop a repeal vote in the US Senate of Country of Origin Labeling. Here's the text of the email from their Executive Director, Bill Bullard.
"Tell all your consumer friends to stock up on all the USA beef they can find because a handful of Senators are trying repeal Country of Origin Labeling and labels will soon disappear at their favorite grocery stores.
"Background: Tonight we learned that Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) are planning to introduce legislation tomorrow in the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee that would repeal COOL for beef, pork, chicken and ground meat and then convert mandatory COOL for beef, pork and chicken into a voluntary program.
"Cosponsors of this deceitful bill are Senators John Thune (R-SD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
"The Senators supporting this bill claim we have no choice but to abandon mandatory COOL because, they say, Canada and Mexico will inflict harm on the U.S. by imposing retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports. Neither Canada nor Mexico has yet proven that they suffered even one-dollar in damages as a result of COOL. Their claims are completely unsubstantiated. This is a smokescreen. Here's why:
"Right now our U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is engaged in the arbitration process at the WTO to refute Canada's and Mexico's claims that they have suffered billions of dollars in damages as a result of COOL.
"It would be unprecedented for Congress to kowtow to Canada and Mexico by giving-up in a WTO trade dispute while the USTR is still exercising our nation's sovereign right to complete the entire dispute process.
"In past WTO disputes in which the U.S. lost, the USTR and USDA engaged in serious negotiations with the winning countries to give them something else the countries wanted in return for an agreement that no retaliatory tariffs would be imposed.
"We know Canada and Mexico have many issues with the U.S. and it is unconscionable that Congress would not first direct USTR and USDA to explore which of the many complaints or requests by Canada and Mexico can be used as leverage to preserve COOL. "
We are being railroaded. Congress has far more options with which to settle this matter than what they are willing to tell us. Not the least of those options is to at least wait and see what amount of damages the WTO arrives at during the ongoing arbitration process. The arbitration process is expected to last from two to four months from the time it was triggered.
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