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United States Receives Well-Deserved ‘Lump of Coal’ From WTO Over Discriminatory Mandatory Country-Of-Origin Labeling Rule; Repeal of Mandatory Labeling Law Critical

Monday, December 7, 2015

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

Washington, DC -- “As Christmas approaches the U.S. today got another well-deserved lump of coal from the World Trade Organization (WTO) when that organization found that Canada and Mexico can impose $1.01 billion in retaliatory tariffs because of the burdensome and discriminatory mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) rule.

Mandatory COOL is one of the most costly and cumbersome rules ever imposed on the agricultural sector and today’s announcement sets in motion Canada’s and Mexico’s ability to impose tariffs, a move they will likely complete before Christmas. Soon, a host of industries, ranging from cherry producers to maple syrup processors to wooden furniture and mattress makers, could pay the penalties for this debacle created by some anti-trade organizations who fought for the law.

It’s disappointing this matter had to come to this point because we’ve long said that it would invite retaliation from Canada and Mexico, our two best trading partners. As the Canadian and Mexican governments prepare to impose these tariffs we are reminded of the sage prophet, Pogo, who said, ‘We have met the enemy and he is us.’ The only way to remove this lump of coal in the United States’ Christmas stocking is swift repeal of mandatory COOL.”

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