Posted June 30, 2014
A broad coalition of industries is urging Congress to take action on the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) dispute with Canada and Mexico to prevent billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., according to an article on Feedstuffs available here. Drovers Cattle Network also published an article hereand KTIC here.
The new coalition, which represents major commodity and livestock groups as well as food companies, sent a letterto the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees requesting Congress to take action directing the Secretary of Agriculture to “suspend the revised COOL rule indefinitely if it is found to be in violation of U.S. international trade obligations.”
“If Congress fails to ensure that U.S. COOL requirements comply with our international obligations, U.S. jobs and manufacturing will be put at risk,” said Linda Dempsey, Vice President of International Economic Affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers, according to Cattle Network.
Since the 2011 World Trade Organization (WTO) rule that certain COOL requirements discriminated against foreign livestock and are not consistent with U.S. WTO trade regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised the law requirements and implemented a new set of COOL requirements in May 2013.
The new labeling requirements for covered meat products require details of each production step, including where the animal is born, raised, and slaughtered, to be a part of the MCOOL label. Also, the final rule prohibits the use of multi-country labeling and eliminates the mixed-origin labeling.
Canada released a list of products that they would seek retaliatory tariffs against. These tariffs would harm coalition members and create economic hardship to the U.S. economy.
For more information on Country of Origin Labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.