WineAmerica Member to Testify Before Congress

U.S. Wine Industry on Country of Origin Labeling

June 24, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Thursday, June 25th, the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the Country of Origin Labeling dispute.  A list of U.S. commodities, including wine, faces over three billion dollars in tariffs from Canada and Mexico. WineAmerica Board Member and New York Wine and Grape Foundation President, Jim Trezise, will speak to the effect that these tariffs would have on the wine industry. (See list of witnesses)

On May 18, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body issued their final ruling against the United States country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for muscle cuts of meat. If the requirements are not repealed by the U.S. Government, Canada and Mexico will retaliate on a variety of American exports to Canada, including wine. Earlier this month the House of Representatives passed a bi-partisan bill repealing the COOL requirements. The Senate now begins its work on this issue. (Read more: House Passes COOL Repeal)

With the August congressional recess looming, and with the WTO review period ending on August 17, the Senate must act quickly. The Canadian and Mexican governments have made it clear that, short of a full repeal of the COOL meat labeling rules, the tariffs will commence. If the COOL rules are not repealed, the tariffs will go into effect as early as September and will last at least two years.

WineAmerica, working with our partners at the Wine Institute, proposed to the Senate Agriculture Committee that Jim Trezise represent the wine industry at this hearing. His testimony will stress the need for swift legislative action and the need for full repeal. Additionally, Trezise will address the importance of the Canadian market for New York and other regions. Canada is the largest export market for U.S. wine, and the proposed tariffs will have a devastating impact on the the American wine industry.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. EST. The Senate Agriculture live streams its hearings through their website. If you would like to watch the hearing, the live stream can be found here: Country of Origin Labeling and Trade Retaliation.

WineAmerica is the national voice the American wine industry. Based in Washington, D.C., WineAmerica represents wineries in 43 states and leads a coalition of state and regional wine and grape associations.  As an industry leader, WineAmerica encourages the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy.

Questions? Contact Michael Kaiser at

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