Reuters reports the United States has blocked a request Mexico and Canada submitted to the World Trade Organization to review new Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules for all meat imported to the U.S.

WTO allows the plantiff to reject the first request submitted in a dispute, but a second request may be filed at the next WTO meeting held on November 19. The COOL rules create more steps for meat processors which can be skipped by purchasing U.S. beef. Canada claims that both cattle and pig exports have taken a hit.

Both Canada and Mexico say the COOL rules have drastically reduced the amount of beef sent to the U.S. Canada and the U.S. are each other’s primary agricultural trading partner, trade between the two totaled $37 billion in 2008. COOL requires meat sold in stores to be labeled with where it was produced.

"COOL is discouraging U.S. retailers, processors, feedlots and producers from buying Canadian livestock and meat. The negative impact on Canadian beef, pork and cattle exporters has been significant," Canada said in a statement to the dispute body.

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Source: Reuters.com