The U.S. House has passed Trade Adjustment Assistance, clearing the way for Trade Promotion Authority. President Obama had said he would not sign the TPA bill without TAA. The bills did not survive the legislative process as a package, but TPA was passed as a standalone bill while TAA was attached to another popular trade bill. The TPA and TAA bills are now on their way to President Obama’s desk where he said he would sign them. The President applauded Congress for the passage of the bills, which is vital to his second term agenda.

Mexican and Canadian officials have sent letters to the U.S. Senate agriculture committee stating repeal of Country of Origin meat labeling is the only option to avoid retaliation. Chairman Roberts said, “Whether you support COOL or oppose COOL, the fact is retaliation is coming. And this committee has to fix it.” The letters from Mexico and Canada were sent in advance to Thursday’s committee hearing on COOL. According to USDA, mandatory COOL has already cost the U.S. beef, pork and chicken sectors approximately $1.8 billion. The House has already passed a bill that would repeal COOL, an option that the Senate is considering.