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Vilsack Responds to July Letter From House Lawmakers About WTO and Mandatory COOL

Monday, October 6, 2014

(American Meat Institute)

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week responded to a July 30 letter from 114 House Members, who urged him to withdraw the May 2013 mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) rule if the World Trade Organization (WTO) determines that the U.S. is not compliant with its WTO obligations.

"We have received the final, confidential report from the WTO Compliance Panel and expect that the WTO will make the findings public in the fall. The Department of Agriculture continues to collaborate with the Office of the United States Trade Representative regarding our next steps in this dispute," he wrote. "It is imperative that the United States continue to show that we will honor our trade obligations and that we will support America's farmers, ranchers and processors. We will continue to work closely with you to find that balance."

The WTO panel report is expected to be made public later this month.

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