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AMI Requests USDA and USTR Delay COOL Implementation in Letter.

Monday, September 30, 2013

(American Meat Institute)

In a letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack and USTR Michael Froman, AMI joined several meat and livestock organizations requesting a delay in the enforcement of the May 2013 country-of-origin labeling (COOL) final rule until the WTO rules on Canada's and Mexico's complaint that the rule does not comply with U.S. obligations under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. 

The organizations wrote, "Given the uncertain fate of the Rule, the undersigned request that AMS delay enforcement of the new labeling regulation pending the outcome of the present WTO challenge. Staying enforcement until the WTO dispute is resolved will reduce the uncertainty that the entire meat supply chain faces in complying with a regulation that likely will be deemed noncompliant with the United States' WTO obligations.  Such a delay will also eliminate imposing the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in costs that AMS calculated would be incurred by the supply chain to comply with a rule that may eventually be scrapped in a relatively short timeframe." 

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