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Costly Retaliatory Duties Following Fourth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ruling Against Mandatory County of Origin Labeling Rule Underscore Need for Repeal

Friday, June 5, 2015

(Attribute Statement to North American Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter)

Washington, DC-- “If the costs imposed by a cumbersome, anti-trade, mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) law weren’t clear enough before, they ought to be now as Canada announced it would be seeking approximately $3 billion per year in retaliatory duties against the U.S.

Canada is positioned to impose these tariffs because the World Trade Organization (WTO), in four different rulings, found that the COOL law violates the trade agreements that the United States pledged to follow. Our country’s credibility as a serious and fair-minded trading partner is on the line. Our government has been outspoken and aggressive when the U.S. faces unfair trade barriers yet it has clung to this problematic law for years and the claimed ‘fixes’ to the COOL rules have only made the situation worse. The United States cannot just talk the trade talk, our country must walk the trade walk.

The COOL law must be repealed now. Without repeal, Americans will pay the price in lost exports and lost jobs because American made exported products will be subject to a ‘COOL tax’ making them more costly and less competitive in foreign markets.

COOL proponents have had their 13-year experiment. It doesn’t work. Consumers don’t use the labels and the WTO has said four times it does not comply with our obligations and now we are facing a $3 billion annual retaliatory penalty. It’s time to move on and repeal mandatory COOL for beef, pork and chicken.”

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