The World Trade Organization is expected to issue a final ruling soon on Mexico and Canada’s challenge of U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulations for red meat. A ruling against the U.S. could give Canada and Mexico the green light to impose retaliatory tariffs on imports of some U.S. products.

Chad Russell, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, discusses the process that will take place if such a ruling is issued, and the potential for U.S. pork and beef to be included on the list of products affected by retaliatory tariffs. He notes that U.S. pork was one of the products targeted in the NAFTA trucking dispute with Mexico in 2011, and even the moderate tariffs imposed at that time had an impact on U.S. market share.   

In 2014, U.S. pork exports to Mexico were 680,843 metric tons valued at $1.55 billion. First-quarter 2015 exports topped last year’s record pace by 7 percent in volume, reaching 179,507 metric tons. Last year’s beef exports to Mexico totaled 242,566 metric tons valued at $1.17 billion. First-quarter exports were slightly below last year’s pace in volume but 4 percent higher in value at $285 million