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Vilsack Says No Regulatory Fix for COOL

Monday, November 24, 2014

(American Meat Institute)

In comments at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters meeting, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, after analyzing the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) decision on country-of-origin labeling (COOL), there is no regulatory fix that would satisfy the WTO and remain consistent with the U.S. law.

"One of two things needs to happen; either our Canadian and Mexican friends have to tell us more clearly and more specifically what if any variation of this will work for them or Congress has to give us different directions that would allow us to comport with the WTO ruling to prevent whatever potential retaliation that may occur. At this point in time we still have the appeal rights and I have not asked my team to look at how strong the appeal might be. That is an issue that USTR deals with. I've asked them is there a way we can with a regulatory fix you know make this all go away and they've come back and basically said we don't think you can do that with the law as it exists and the WTO ruling as it exists without any further direction from the Canadian and the Mexicans what would be acceptable," Secretary Vilsack said.

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