WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today led a coalition letter to Members of the U.S. Senate urging them to pass Senator Tammy Baldwin’s (D-WI) COOL Online Act. This bipartisan legislation would require that country-of-origin labeling (COOL) be clearly and conspicuously stated in any website description of a product. Joining CPA in signing the letter were the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, The Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), and the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).
“We represent American businesses and the hard-working men and women who are committed to American manufacturing. We also stand with tens of millions of American consumers who want to know where the products they purchase are manufactured,” the letter states. “We write regarding the efforts by large online retailers and importers to remove the COOL Online Act from the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260).”
“The groups opposed to this effort apparently do not share the concerns of American consumers about importing counterfeit, unsafe, and shoddy goods from countries like China,” the letter continues. “Their attempt to prevent the COOL Online Act from becoming law undermines the actions of policymakers on both sides of the aisle. More importantly, it harms millions of American consumers who want to know where the products they buy are made. As the Senate considers the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260), we urge you to stand with American consumers, American businesses, and American workers by maintaining the inclusion of the COOL Online Act.”
Under current U.S. law, a product’s external packaging must state its country of origin. However, e-commerce has made distinguishing an item’s place of origin more difficult. Websites often do not display the country-of-origin for a product since labeling laws were written before the advent of internet shopping.
Earlier this week, CPA urged Congress to reject the lobbying efforts of large online retailers and importers like Amazon to prevent the COOL Online Act from becoming law. Last month, CPA highlighted how hundreds of millions of dollars worth of copycat goods and stolen IP are coming in from China as American consumers continue to shop online, with their orders going directly to Chinese manufacturers.