The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body ruled Monday against the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule for meats, upholding the compliance panel’s report. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis, of Chugwater, Wyo., said the next step is retaliation.
“We have long said that COOL is not just burdensome and costly to cattle producers, it is generally ignored by consumers and violates our international trade obligations,” said Ellis. “Now that the WTO has ruled for a fourth time that this rule discriminates against Canadian and Mexican livestock, the next step is retaliation by Canada and Mexico. Retaliation will irreparably harm our economy and our relationships with our top trading partners and send a signal to the world that the U.S. doesn’t play by the rules. It is long past time that Congress repeal this broken regulation.”
The NCBA calls on Congress to fix this broken rule and supports legislation to repeal COOL before retaliation is awarded. Canada has released detailed proposed targets for retaliatory tariffs by state here.
Read more: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
House Ag Committee Chairman Conaway offers statement on WTO ruling
House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, issued the following statement upon the WTO’s announcement:
“Once again, the WTO has found COOL to be non-compliant – a decision we fully expected. As retaliation by Canada and Mexico becomes a reality, it is more important now than ever to act quickly to avoid a protracted trade war with our two largest trade partners. I have asked my colleagues on the Agriculture Committee to weigh in on resolving this issue once and for all during a business meeting this Wednesday in a targeted effort to remove ongoing uncertainty and to provide stability.”
Read more: House Committee on Agriculture