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Senate Agriculture Committee to Hold Hearing on COOL; U.S. Seeks Arbitration Against Canadian Tariffs

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will hold a hearing this Thursday, June 25, 2015, to discuss country-of-origin labeling (COOL) and trade retaliation. The hearing will focus specifically on the implications of COOL and trade retaliation for America's farmers, ranchers, business and consumers. Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter will appear before the Committee to provide testimony in support of COOL repeal.

Meanwhile, Canada last week submitted a request before a World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body seeking retaliatory trade measures against the United States following the WTO's May decision, which held that COOL violates the United States' international trade obligations and illegally discriminates against imported livestock from Canada and Mexico. Canada is seeking retaliatory tariffs worth approximately $2.6 billion (U.S.), more than $3 billion (Canadian). The U.S., however, objected to the amount proposed by Canada and has requested arbitration. The WTO cannot take action on Canada's retaliation request until the arbitration process is complete.

The U.S. did not take similar action against Mexico, due to an error in Mexico's original retaliation request. Mexico is expected to submit another request to the WTO asking for retaliatory authorization, and the U.S. said that it will respond accordingly.

Earlier in June, the House of Representatives voted 300-131 to repeal COOL requirements for beef, pork and poultry products sold in the U.S.

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