USTR to appeal WTO ruling on Country of Origin Labeling

Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative opted Friday to appeal the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President Bob McCan, a past president of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), issued the following statement:

“We are very disappointed in this decision. Instead of working diligently to bring the United States into WTO compliance, our government has opted to engage in an appeal process, which jeopardizes our strong trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, the two largest importers of U.S. beef. An appeal is the wrong answer and a waste of valuable resources. This appeal will do nothing but escalate tension with our valuable trade partners and will prolong an issue that could be resolved quickly. We should be working toward a solution instead of creating a bigger problem.

“NCBA will engage with Canada and Mexico in order to prevent any retaliatory action that could occur from this unfortunate decision made by the U.S. government.

“Cattlemen deserve a government that fights for and protects our opportunities. We need a government that not only demands WTO compliance of our trade partners but one that ensures the United States is abiding by these same guidelines.”

Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is a USDA marketing program mandated by the 2002 Farm Bill which requires retailers to notify their customers of the country of origin of beef, veal, goat meat, lamb, pork, poultry, fish and other perishable agricultural commodities.

To read more about COOL, visit our resources webpage on tscra.org at www.tscra.org/education/resources and click on “Country-of-Origin-Labeling” to download a fact sheet, or to go beefusa.org/countryoforiginlabelingcool for more information.

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