Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator is proposing a change in how meat is labeled in an attempt to forestall new trade tariffs from Canada.
Officials in both Canada and Mexico strongly object to a U.S. requirement that labels on meat products show what country the items came from.
Supporters of the labeling say U.S. consumers have a right to know where there food originated. But Canadian officials say the requirement discriminates against livestock in other countries and violates existing trade agreements.
The World Trade Organization agreed. Now Canada is seeking to add new tariffs of about $2.5 billion on U.S. products – the amount Canadian officials say meat producers there have lost because of the labeling requirement.
Michigan’s U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says mandatory labeling should be changed in favor of making the practice voluntary. She says that would help protect American consumers while still maintaining a good relationship with the nation’s closest trading partners.
But leaders of the Republican-controlled Congress say the labeling requirement should simply be repealed, arguing that it is forcing the U.S. to be out-of-compliance with the trade deals set with Canada.