Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement regarding legislation introduced by Senator Hoeven (R-ND) and Senator Stabenow (D-MI) that ties repeal of country of origin labeling (COOL) to both the elimination of existing market driven programs and the establishment of a so-called voluntary country of origin (COOL) labeling program for beef, pork, and chicken. This new voluntary program would operate under similar rules as the program found to violate U.S. international trade rules.
The Ag Minute: U.S. Seeks Resolution to Brazil's Retaliation
Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, Ranking Member Frank Lucas highlights his concerns about Brazil's retaliation efforts aimed at U.S. exports, and how this measure will impact American agriculture.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"Brazil recently announced measures that would jeopardize future trade relations with the U.S.
"Country officials have threatened to apply tariffs on more than a 100 U.S.-made products, and will do so in 30 days unless Brazil and the U.S. can reach a settlement.
"I join my colleagues in expressing disappointment that the Brazilians have decided to move in this direction. Though, I am fully aware that this is just the next step towards a negotiated settlement.
"This dispute comes from a World Trade Organization ruling when Brazil challenged support programs for U.S. cotton. However, the U.S. made changes to programs in the 2008 farm bill to address some of the concerns. But, we still haven't heard from Brazil on what additional changes are necessary to comply with our WTO commitments.
"I am concerned about how these tariffs would negatively impact American agriculture. One example is the tariff on U.S. wheat, which would triple from 10 percent to 30 percent. This would be a devastating blow to our farmers during a time when they can't afford it.
"Brazil is an important export market for the U.S. It is my hope that Brazil will begin to negotiate. We are ready to have sincere discussions that will put our trade relationship on solid footing once again."
The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas' weekly radio address that is released each Tuesday from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.