National Farmers Union Wants COOL Reincarnated and Why TPP Is a DragMon, 22 Feb 2016 15:57:24 CST
Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is not dead. The U.S. mandatory COOL program was determined to be not in compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and it was repealed by Congress in December, but the movement to get a voluntary COOL program continues to be pushed by the National Farmers Union organization. In speaking at the American Farmers and Ranchers annual meeting in Norman last week, NFU Sr. Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule said find me one single consumer that says they want to know less about their food, where it came from or any of its ingredients. He said there is plenty of support for a voluntary COOL program, but to move forward it will have to be done with the Obama administration.
Work continues on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement between the United States and 11 other countries. This includes Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei, Singapore and New Zealand. Goule said once President Obama sends the agreement to Congress the clock starts ticking and right now there are not enough votes in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the trade deal. He said one of the key reasons is because the agreement does not address currency manipulation and TPP includes three currency manipulators in Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.
NFU can’t get behind TPP because previous free trade agreements have pushed the national trade deficit for the United States deeper and the agreements put an increasing drag on the U.S. economy. Goule said until the U.S. Trade Representative can develop trade agreements with the objective of getting the U.S. out of a trade deficit and improving the welfare, production and economies in both countries, NFU doesn’t see these agreements benefiting family farmers and ranchers in the long run.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Goule at the recent 111th American Farmers & Ranchers Convention in Norman, Oklahoma. They also talked about the 2014 Farm Bill, the attacks on crop insurance funding, the upcoming elections and the 2016 NFU annual convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That will be held Saturday, March 5th - Tuesday, March 8th.
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