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.
Department Operations Subcommittee Chairman Goodlatte Urges President Bush to Insist Russian President Rescind Poultry Ban
March 26, 2002 - After expressing his concerns to United States Trade Representative Ambassador Allen Johnson, Congressman Bob Goodlatte today issued the following statement in response to Russia's ban on U.S. poultry:
"I have urged President Bush to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to rescind the recent import ban on U.S. poultry products.
"There is no justifiable reason for Russia to ban U.S. poultry. The U.S. provides products that meet the highest food safety standards in the world. The decision, made March 10 by the Russian government, will ultimately hurt American poultry producers and weaken trade across the board with our Russian partners.
"Russia is a valued purchaser of U.S. poultry, and it is in our best interests to deliver a safe, dependable product. For the U.S. poultry industry to do otherwise would be absurd - both ethically and economically. I believe that Russia needs to understand that the poultry we deliver to them meets the same high standards that are in place for U.S. consumers. Unfortunately, the embargo will deny Russian citizens an adequate source of safe, high quality protein.
"Therefore, I have urged President Bush to convey our concerns with the embargo and ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to rescind the poultry ban."
Poultry exports account for $700 million per year, totaling 20 percent of U.S. exports to Russia.
Congressman Goodlatte is a ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee and the Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry. A copy of Congressman Goodlatte's letter to President Bush is available.
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