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Canada, Mexico challenge COOL rule

They argue that USDA's Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule discriminates against cattle imports.

8/21/2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Canada and Mexico will pursue a compliance case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States over the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in May.  

“We had hoped to avoid having to again resort to the WTO to resolve this matter," said Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Trade Minister Ed Fast in a joint statement. "However, despite consistent rulings by the WTO, the U.S. government continues its unfair trade practices, which are severely damaging to Canadian industry and jobs."
Canada and Mexico maintain that the rule, which requires that labels show where each production step (born, raised, slaughtered) occurs, does not meet the requirements of the June 2012 COOL ruling against the United States. The WTO ruled that the U.S. COOL program discriminates against imports of cattle from Canada and Mexico by requiring the origin of the product sold in the U.S. to be identified on the label. Canada and Mexico maintain that the revised USDA labeling requirements issued on May 23 add to the trade-distorting burden on their producers.
Canada has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods if the COOL rule is not changed. Any retaliatory tariffs cannot be implemented until after the compliance panel has ruled.

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