New bipartisan Country of Origin Labeling bill to be written by USDA, U.S. Trade Reps

Thune says that it will be a chance to include the experts in the area like the reps and members of the USDA in the bill's writing, and it will give legislatures some ground if after a year new policy isn't written.

SOUTH DAKOTA — A bipartisan bill that would reinstate mandatory Country of Origin Labeling has been filed in the U.S. Congress.

Senator John Thune says he’s been fighting the issue for 25 years and that it has come down to the bill being written by U.S. Trade Reps and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Thune says that it will be a chance to include the experts in the area like the reps and members of the USDA in the bill’s writing, and it will give legislatures some ground if after a year new policy isn’t written.

“These are the people who have to defend our trade policies and trade laws,” Thune said. “Let them write it in a way that will withstand a legal challenge. Give them a year to implement it, and if they don’t do that, then mandatory Country of Origin labeling would kick in again and we would just have to go and defend it at the World Trade Organization.”

Senator Thune, while setting up the issue in confirmation hearings that trade reps and the Secretary of Agriculture have, said they will work with legislators like Thune to solve the issue.

However, Thune also says that in the past, the WTO has rejected past bipartisan bills along the same issue based upon challenges from Canada and Mexico.

Thune says that based on his feedback among western South Dakota ranchers, fixing the country of origin labeling issue is the single best solution.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Ag, Local News, South Dakota News