WASHINGTON – The deal reached Dec. 15 on taxes and spending for fiscal year 2016 was expected to be voted on and approved by the Senate and House of Representatives on Friday, Dec. 18, before lawmakers return home for the holidays. Among the riders attached to the legislation was one calling for the repeal of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, said, “Back in June, the House overwhelmingly passed language to repeal mandatory COOL for products challenged by our trading partners, and I am pleased to see similar language included in the omnibus package. By including this language, we will be back in compliance with our World Trade Organization obligations, avoid more than $1 billion in retaliation from Canada and Mexico, and prevent damages to our relationships with two of our top trading partners. I especially commend Chairman Roberts (Senator Pat Robert, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry) for his diligence and hard work in getting this across the finish line.”