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Copyright © 2014
Angus Journal

Senate Moves Forward on COOL with Ag Committee Hearing:Business and Ag Leaders Testify on Critical Need to Avoid Retaliation

Washington, DC (June 26, 2015)—Today, the Senate Agriculture Committee heard from business and agricultural leaders on the impact of looming retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico should the U.S. remain non-compliant with WTO rules on country of origin labeling (COOL) for muscle cuts of meat.


On May 18, 2015, the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued its fourth and final ruling, finding that the U.S. COOL rule for muscle cuts of beef and pork violates U.S. trade obligations, and allowing America's two largest export markets to establish retaliatory tariffs on more than $3 billion in U.S. exports. Both Mexico and Canada have already started the retaliation process, and unless the Senate acts before its August recess retaliatory tariffs could be implemented by late summer.


"Manufacturers risk losing major exports to our two largest trading partners as a result of this ongoing dispute and we are looking for a solution that will immediately stop the threat of retaliation," said Linda Dempsey with the National Association of Manufacturers and Co-Chair of the COOL Reform Coalition. "We welcome the ongoing discussions to address this issue, but urge that the Senate act quickly and decisively to eliminate the possibility of retaliation."


The United States is out of options. Last year, the COOL Reform Coalition continually urged enactment of a contingency plan by Congress to prevent retaliation. Regrettably, those efforts fell short and the U.S. is now facing retaliation and a serious blow to the economy.


"Trade with these countries-our two largest export markets-supports nearly 14 million U.S. jobs," said John Murphy with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the COOL Reform Coalition. "While we applaud the Senate Agriculture Committee for its leadership on this issue to start the conversation, time remains short. We hope this proves to be the first step towards action by the Senate to bring the U.S. into compliance and avoid retaliation."

Editor's Note: This article was provided by the COOL Reform Coalition.