Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just in from Washington

U.S. Appeals WTO Ruling Against COOL

The United States has filed an appeal against a World Trade Organization dispute panel ruling against parts of the U.S.

Country-of-Origin Labeling program.

Washington--The ruling, announced in November, was in response to a complaint made by Mexico and Canada that U.S. COOL requirements resulted in imported hogs and cattle being treated less favorably than cattle and hogs from the U.S. Specifically, the WTO panel found aspects of the COOL program to be in violation of part of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

Canada and Mexico argued that U.S. COOL requirements are a protectionist barrier and unfairly distort competition between imports and domestic cattle and hogs, resulting in lower prices for Canadian and Mexican cattle and hogs.

“Canada and Mexico’s problem with COOL was specific to the part of the program that applies to the ‘born and raised in the U.S. classification,’” explained Dave Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation trade specialist. “They argued that meat from an animal processed in the U.S. should be considered a product of the U.S., even if the animal was born in Mexico or Canada.”

The WTO is expected to respond to the ruling by this fall.

Drovers Cattle Network article

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