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COOL ruling continues to heat up

Canada and Mexico seeking retaliatory measures

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

As the United States continues to be at odds with Canada and Mexico about Country of Origin Labelling (COOL), Canada and Mexico are asking the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose heavy fines on the US.

“Canada will request authorization from the WTO to impose over C$3 billion in retaliatory measures against the U.S., while Mexico will seek authorization for over US$653 million,” said Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in a joint statement with  Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, and Enrique Martínez y Martínez, Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture. “We continue to call on the United States to repeal COOL legislation for beef and pork and comply with its international obligations.”

Gavel and money

The controversy with COOL dates back to the 2002 American Farm Bill. It requires all packaged meats to disclose where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered. However, some ground meat packages contain products from Mexico and Canada, making it difficult to distinguish.

The United States has appealed to the WTO four times that their COOL measures are just – the WTO has sided with Canada and Mexico in each occasion.

“On May 18, 2015, the WTO once again confirmed Canada and Mexico’s long-standing position that the United States’ mandatory COOL requirements for beef and pork are discriminatory and are a violation of the United States’ international trade obligations,” said the Ministers from Canada and Mexico.

Canada has also called for the WTO to allow tariffs to be placed on some exports to the United States including maple sugar, corn and pasta.

Tell us your thoughts about Canada and Mexico asking the WTO to impose financial penalties on the United States as a result of their COOL policy.


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