USCA (May 23, 2015) – United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Director Emeritus Leo McDonnell and Mississippi producers Paul Myrick and Ricky Ruffin concluded a two-day set of meetings in Washington, D.C. this past week following the release of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling on country of origin labeling (COOL). McDonnell led the group in meetings with Hill and Administration staff explaining that wild claims of economic harm to Canada and Mexican cattle producers have not been proven in US courts nor the WTO Appellate panels. Once reported data is reviewed, USCA expects to see these propaganda tactics of ridiculously high tariff threats to be greatly reduced. USCA hopes the reported numbers are consistent with what the packing industry has been submitting to USDA to meet price reporting guidelines.
McDonnell commented on the week’s events, “Following the WTO ruling, it is important that we don’t jump to conclusions. The ruling does not equate into immediate retaliation nor signal a true loss on the issue. In fact, through this process we have won more than we have lost. We are committed to working with members of the Senate and House in order to propose and push forth legislation which will satisfy all parties involved and comply with WTO obligations and U.S. laws.”
“As Americans celebrate Memorial Day, it is only logical that our country’s leaders would support a label which credits hard-working U.S. citizens who are proud of the beef products they produce, as well as the men and women who have given their lives so we can have the freedom to govern ourselves. Our message to our elected officials remains focused on honoring those who have given so much; we will continue to say, “Stand Your Ground”. We must not run away from these arbitrary threats of retaliation. We must not cave into foreign parties that attempt to tell us what we can and cannot tell our consumers regarding where their food comes from. By taking away this label, Members of Congress are dismissing a truly “Made in the USA” beef products.”
“USCA remains committed to maintaining the presence of an “A” label, one which clearly distinguishes products born, raised and harvested in the U.S. We will work with Congress and the Administration to ensure this basic country of origin information is not lost and that producers across the country will continue to identify their product in the grocery store. We urge our membership, consumers and the general public to call your members of the House of Representatives and ask that they oppose H.R. 2393 which would repeal COOL. USCA members will make the trip to DC in June to support and advocate for any measures taken to maintain COOL.”