WTO Sides With Canada and Mexico in COOL DisputeMonday, October 20, 2014
(American Meat Institute)
The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico in their dispute of the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule. In its compliance panel report, the WTO ruled that COOL is in violation "because it accords imported Canadian (and Mexican) livestock treatment less favourable than that accorded to like domestic livestock, in particular because the amended COOL measure increases the original COOL measure's detrimental impact on the competitive opportunities of imported Canadian (and Mexican) livestock, and this detrimental impact does not stem exclusively from legitimate regulatory distinctions."
AMI and the North American Meat Association said, "The WTO decision upholding Canada's and Mexico's challenge to the U.S. COOL rule comes as no surprise. USDA's mandatory COOL rule is not only onerous and burdensome on livestock producers and meat packers and processors, it does not bring the U.S. into compliance with its WTO obligations. By being out of compliance, the U.S. is subject to retaliation from Canada and Mexico that could cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars.
While the U.S. has the option to appeal the ruling, we encourage USTR and USDA to instead work with the industry and Congress to amend the COOL statute so it complies with our international obligations and brings stability to the market. Such a change would help restore strong relationships with some of our largest and most important trading partners."