WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today urged Congress to reject the lobbying efforts of large online retailers and importers like Amazon to remove U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s (D-WI) COOL Online Act from the Endless Frontier Act (S. 1260). The bipartisan COOL Online Act passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill would mandate that country-of-origin labeling (COOL) be clearly and conspicuously stated in any website description of a product. This would protect Americans’ right to know where the products they buy are made and help promote goods that are made in America.
“For years, the import lobby—led by companies like Amazon—has fought every effort to give Americans information about where the products they buy are made,” CPA Chair Zach Mottl said. “Thankfully, Senators on the Commerce Committee took an important step earlier this month by passing Senator Baldwin’s COOL Online Act. Instead of caving to special interests and the lobbying of Amazon and other importers, Congress should stand up for American consumers and workers by keeping this important bill in the Endless Frontier 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. 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.
“Amazon and other large multinationals have fought country-of-origin labeling efforts for years,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Now, they are attempting to strip out Senator Baldwin’s COOL Online Act from the Endless Frontier Act. Americans want to know where the products they buy are made—especially products they purchase on the Internet. On behalf of CPA and our members—hard-working men and women who are committed to producing things in America—we urge the Senate to reject this shameful effort by special interests groups who have little concern about importing counterfeit, unsafe, and shoddy goods from countries like China.”
CPA strongly supports the COOL bill, particularly in light of growing consumer interest in buying domestically produced items. The new bill would mandate a prominent country-of-origin description for all products sold online as well as clear disclosure of the country in which the seller of the product is located.Read more about U.S. consumers looking to buy American-made products.