U.S. lawmaker sees early June vote to repeal COOL

Washington | Reuters –– U.S. House of Representatives agriculture committee chairman Mike Conaway said on Tuesday he expects an early June vote on legislation to repeal U.S. meat labeling laws, to avoid costly retaliation from Canada and Mexico.

Canada and Mexico began preparing retaliatory steps against U.S. goods on Monday, after a World Trade Organization decision.

Canada, for one, already has a shortlist of planned retaliatory tariffs aimed mainly at U.S. live cattle, live hogs, beef and pork products, along with U.S. cereal, bread, pasta, frozen potatoes, frozen orange juice, wine, cheese, cocoa, apples, cherries, fowl, maple syrup, ketchup and sugars, among other goods.

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The WTO’s Appellate Body on Monday upheld previous rulings that found U.S. country-of-origin labelling (COOL) laws — which require retailers to label meat with the country where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered — discriminate against imported livestock.

“I am hopeful that a big vote in the House in early June will help the Senate,” Conaway, a Republican from Texas, told reporters.

Reporting for Reuters by Krista Hughes in Washington, D.C. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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