The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued its final ruling on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), which was originally released in November of 2011 and appealed on March 23, 2012, by the U.S. Trade Representative. National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President Bob McCan was pleased with the ruling.
“The World Trade Organization has been extremely clear that mandatory Country of Origin Labeling is a clear WTO violation. This most recent decision is very similar to the initial ruling made more than seven months ago,” said McCan. “Instead of working diligently to bring the United States into WTO compliance, we wasted several months and taxpayer dollars on an appeal process. This did nothing more than jeopardize our strong trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, the two largest importers of U.S. beef. The Obama Administration prolonged an issue that could have been resolved quickly.”
McCan said NCBA has worked closely with Canada and Mexico to prevent retaliatory tariffs and to maintain trust with the two largest buyers of U.S. beef.
“NCBA worked with Canada and Mexico to prevent any retaliatory action that could have occurred from the unfortunate decision made by the U.S. government to appeal the initial ruling.” said McCan.
He also noted that the United States must do more than demand WTO compliance from U.S. trade partners.
“Cattlemen deserve a government that fights for and protects our opportunities. We need a government that not only demands WTO compliance of our trade partners but one that ensures the United States is abiding by these same guidelines,” said McCan. “We are committed to working with this administration and Congress to find a permanent solution to this issue in order to bring the United States back into compliance. It is absolutely critical that the United States leads by example.”