Wine Institute Calls on Senate to Take Action on House-Passed Bill to Prevent Canada and Mexico Retaliation

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The FINANCIAL — On June 10, in a strong, bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2393, which repeals the United States’ Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for beef, pork and poultry.

Last month, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled for the third time that this U.S. regulation discriminates against Canadian and Mexican producers. As a result, Canada and Mexico are seeking WTO approval of a reported $10 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products including wine. H.R. 2393 passed the House by a vote of 300 – 131, according to Wine Institute.

“Today’s overwhelming vote sends the strongest possible message to the Senate that it too must take immediate action to avoid devastating retaliation against U.S. exports. Retaliation by Canada and Mexico would do hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the U.S. wine industry virtually overnight and it would take years to reclaim this lost market share,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. Without Congressional action to bring the U.S. into WTO compliance, Canada and Mexico will be in a position to retaliate as early as this summer.

U.S. wine producers export more than $500 million of wine to Canada and Mexico annually and Canada is now the single largest export market for U.S. wine. The retail value of California wine sales in Canada tops $1 billion annually.

Wine Institute represents 1,000 wineries and affiliated businesses throughout California, the number one wine producing state in the U.S. Wine Institute is an active member of the COOL Reform Coalition that represents U.S. food, agriculture and manufacturing industries.

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