The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has applauded the US Congress for approving legislation, as part of a $1.1 trillion spending package, which will suspend country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for certain muscle cuts of imported meat and avoid costly trade retaliation by Canada and Mexico.
The US Senate approved the measure by a vote of 65-33 on Friday, following the bill’s passage in the House of Representatives by a vote of 316-113.
“We commend Congress for passing this legislation and protecting US frozen food and beverage makers from costly retaliatory tariffs from America’s two largest export markets,” said Joseph Clayton, interim president of McLean, Virginia-headquartered AFFI.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently approved annual retaliatory tariff amounts of $1.01 billion, $781 million from Canada and $227.76 million from Mexico, which could have been imposed on American exports if COOL was not repealed. The approved tariff amounts follow a May 2015 WTO ruling that found COOL requirements to be in violation of the United States’ international trade obligations by treating Canadian and Mexican livestock less favorably than domestic livestock.