The World Trade Organization says Canada and Mexico have been authorized impose retaliatory tariffs on American imports from the U.S.’s country of origin labelling law. The group says the law creates an unfair advantage for domestic meat.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) said Senators need to stop dragging their feet and repeal the law.
“We need to get this done before these tariffs are put in place,” said Blunt. “Maybe it’s going to take the process for somebody to actually lay them down on a piece of paper in front of my colleagues and say this is going to happen to our ability to compete if we don’t eliminate this country of origin obstacle.”
American farmers and exporters could face $1 billion in tariffs if Congress fails to repeal the law.
According to the USDA, food products covered by the law include muscle cut and ground meats: beef, veal, pork, lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng. The labeling regulations began in 2009.
“How people thought about it when they voted for it doesn’t matter right now,” said Blunt. “What matters is that we continue to be competitive in the world economy with agriculture products.”
The House has already passed a bill repealing the law. Democrat William Lacy Clay is the only member of Missouri’s congressional delegation who voted against the measure.
Kyle Hill, KWIX, contributed to this story.