Some of you may remember my previous blog post about the COOL [Country of Origin Labeling]. In that post i referred to a final decision being made in the fall, well they finally made the decision.
The WTO [World Trade Organization] has ruled the United States' laws requiring mandatory country-of-origin labels on beef, pork and produce violate its commitments to global trade rules.
Canadian producers have been worried that the system of requiring all meat and perishable items be labeled form the country they originated from would become a trade stopper. Both Canada and Mexico have long contended that COOL violates international trade laws, restricts market access and is a technical trade barrier. Canada in late 2008 formally challenged COOL at the WTO.
The Canadian Cattlemen's Association noted in a release that Washington, in theory, could also just ignore the DSB panel's decision. Doing so, however, could eventually put Canada in a position to apply "retaliatory options," such as new or higher tariffs on imports from the U.S.
"This decision recognizes the integrated nature of the North American supply chain in this vitally important industry," Canada's International Trade Minister Ed Fast noted. "Removing onerous labeling measures and unfair, unnecessary costs will improve competitiveness, boost growth and help strengthen the prosperity of Canadian and American producers alike."
This legislation is being a labelled a win for Canadian producers.