WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wine Institute is pleased that Congress has included language which repeals country of origin labeling (COOL) for beef and pork in the Omnibus funding bill. The World Trade Organization has granted Canada and Mexico the right to retaliate against U.S. products including wine beginning as early as next week unless Congress votes to repeal the relevant COOL provisions.
"We urge Congress to immediately pass this Omnibus funding bill to ensure that U.S. exports are not hit with more than $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs," said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. "At this late date, passage of the Omnibus is the only way to guarantee U.S exports do not suffer devastating losses."
U.S. wine producers export more than $500 million of wine ($1 billion retail value) to Canada and Mexico annually. Canada is the single largest export market for U.S. wine. Wine Institute recently announced that U.S. wine sales surpassed wines from France and Italy for the first time to claim the largest share of the Canadian market. Any disruption caused by retaliatory tariffs would result in a significant loss of market share that would take years to recover.
Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy association representing nearly 1,000 wineries and affiliated businesses throughout California who are responsible for 90 percent of U.S. wine exports. Wine Institute is also an active member of the COOL Reform Coalition, a diverse group of associations and companies representing U.S. food, agriculture and manufacturing industries which advocates for U.S. compliance with WTO obligations.
SOURCE Wine Institute