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Pocan Statement on WTO Ordered Rollback of Popular U.S. Consumer Protection Law

May 18, 2015
Press Release
Further Highlights How Trade Deals Can Undermine U.S. Consumer, Environmental Policies

Washington, D.C - U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) issued the following statement on today¹s final ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) against a popular U.S. country-of-origin meat labeling (COOL) policy, which requires labeling of pork and beef sold in the United States to inform consumers the country in which the animals were born, raised and slaughtered:

“Today's ruling is a clear example of how bad trade agreements hurt America's sovereignty and weaken consumer and environmental policies enacted to protect our health and well-being. From the roll back of U.S. Clean Air Act regulations to altered auto fuel efficiency standards and even possible changes to our financial regulations, bad trade deals negotiated in secret have consistently shown why it is important to get trade agreements done right, not fast. 

“With the Trans-Pacific Partnership encompassing more than 40 percent of the world¹s economy we have to get it right and ensure we do not put the health and safety of the American people at risk. Congress should not grant fast track authority and rubber stamp the largest trade deal since NAFTA, when we don¹t know enough about the TPP and its potential consequences on our communities.”

The COOL policy was created when Congress enacted mandatory country-of-origin labeling for meat in the 2008 farm bill and was signed in to law by President George W. Bush. Today’s ruling is not subject to further appeal.