The World Trade Organization has set the retaliation amount Canada and Mexico can place on American products in retaliation for the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law at $1.01 billion.
The COOL statute requires meat to be labeled with the country where the animal from which it was derived was born, raised and harvested. (It also applies to fish, shellfish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and certain nuts.)
The WTO today said Canada and Mexico can put $1.01 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods because the COOL law, which the international trade body previously ruled violates U.S. trade obligations, discriminates against Canadian and Mexican animals that are sent to the United States to be fed out and processed.
From the House Agriculture Committee:
Today, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) arbitration panel announced its final ruling that the United States’ Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for livestock and meat imports have cost our trading partners over $1 billion dollars. Canada and Mexico are now authorized to impose retaliatory tariffs in that amount against U.S. exports.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued the following statement upon the WTO’s announcement.
“We have known for some time that the Country of Origin Labeling law violates our international trade obligations. The WTO has ruled that we face over $1 billion in annual retaliation if the Congress doesn’t act immediately to repeal this law,” said Chairman Conaway.
On June 10th, House of Representatives approved H.R. 2393, a bill to amend the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946, by a recorded vote of 300-131. The legislation will effectively repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork, and chicken, while leaving intact the requirements for all other covered commodities. The governments of Canada and Mexico have stated repeatedly that enactment of this legislation will mitigate the need for any retaliatory actions fundamentally ending this case, once and for all.