Canada Moves Forward with WTO Complaint Against U.S. COOL Law

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) issued the following statement yesterday in response to the Canadian government's announcement that it will formally proceed with a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement process against U.S. mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL).

"Canada's decision to move forward with their complaint against U.S. COOL regulations is unfortunate, due to the potential retaliatory action that could be taken against U.S. beef. Since COOL was first proposed, we've continued to have concerns about its potential implications on our relationship with our top two trading partners-not to mention its impact on domestic feeder cattle markets at our borders to the North and South.

"The U.S. imports and adds value to Mexican and Canadian livestock through our feedlots, processing and infrastructure; and we export this value-added finished product back to Mexican and Canadian consumers. Any disruptions to either of these markets will have a significant economic impact on our industry. Unfortunately, it's becoming clear that COOL has damaged these critically important trading relationships, and is not putting any additional money into the pockets of cattlemen."

In order to gain a better understanding of COOL's effects on the entire beef chain, NCBA has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reinstate a joint Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)/Economic Research Service (ERS) study entitled, "Economic Analysis of Country of Origin Implementation Costs for Producers and Processors in the Beef, Pork and Lamb Industries" that was to be completed in cooperation with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). Unfortunately, the FY 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill did not direct USDA to reinstate the funding for this purpose. NCBA is continuing to urge USDA to prioritize this project.

Canada and Mexico are our top two trading partners, together accounting for 59% of total U.S. beef, beef variety meat and processed beef product export revenues last year. It is likely that Mexico will join Canada in proceeding with a formal WTO dispute settlement process. For more information, visit: http://w01.international.gc.ca/MinPub/Publication.aspx?lang=eng&publication_id=387683&docnum=296

Proposal Addresses Need for Wild-Horse Management on Public Lands

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced a proposal to create wild-horse and burro preserves to help manage growing herd populations in the West. The Public Lands Council (PLC) is supporting these efforts as an important step towards finding a balanced approach to address growing horse populations on federal lands.

America's ranchers rely on healthy rangelands to graze their cattle and produce food for the nation. However, the over-population of wild horses and burros is continuing to cause deterioration in range conditions in many areas of the West.

"Over-population of wild-horse populations is posing a growing problem on Western rangelands," said Jeff Eisenberg, executive director, PLC. "It's important that we find a solution that provides for the welfare of horses without compromising the needs of ranchers who rely on grazing lands to produce food for America."

For more information, visit: http://www.doi.gov/news/09_News_Releases/100709.html

Don't Miss NCBA's Cattlemen to Cattlemen!

Don't miss NCBA's Cattlemen to Cattlemen, October 13-17! We'll learn about a final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that will require certain livestock operations to file reports on emissions under a mandatory greenhouse gas registry. We'll also find out more about the proposed cap and trade legislation in Congress and how it could affect agriculture. And we'll learn why it's important to maintain sound animal health practices during a slow economy.

NCBA's Cattlemen to Cattlemen debuts Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. and airs again Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. (all times are Eastern). Don't forget, you can watch NCBA's Cattlemen to Cattlemen online anytime by visiting www.cattlementocattlemen.org. You can also follow us on Twitter at NCBA C2C and become a fan of the show on Facebook by searching NCBA's Cattlemen to Cattlemen.