More needed after Made in America executive order
President Biden signed the Made in America executive order Monday giving preference to American products under federal spending. This includes spending preference for food products to be used in schools and other institutions.
R-Calf CEO Bill Bullard said the executive order is a positive step for U.S. meat producers.
“It’s a recognition that we need to strengthen domestic supply chains in order to recover the U.S. economy,” he said.
But he tells Brownfield producers won’t fully benefit from the ‘Made in America’ initiative because Congress repealed the country-of-origin-labeling rule for beef and pork in 2015 after the World Trade Organization threatened to impose retaliatory import tariffs against the U.S. for the rule.
“In many of these WTO trade cases, after the United States loses as we did with respect to country of origin labeling the administration would go back and achieve a diplomatic solution, no effort was even made,” Bullard said.
He said currently, meat labels are misleading…
“On a meat package that was brought into the United States from a foreign country, say Argentina or Uruguay, [if] it was brought into a U.S. processing plant, all that needs to happen is for the old wrapper to be removed and a new wrapper put in place,” Bullard said. “And the meat packer can then label that a product of the USA.”
Bullard said R-Calf has drafted country of origin labeling legislation in line with the WTO’s guidelines and sent it to ‘numerus’ congressional offices.