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WTO

Ranchers look for some traction on country-of-origin labeling

As individual actions, they might not mean much. Collectively, they say Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is not going away anytime soon. Two states known for their cowboys, Wyoming and South Dakota, have seen early introduction of COOL bills in their legislatures, respectively, in Cheyenne and Pierre. Cattlemen headquartered in neighboring Montana have not given up on… Continue Reading

Dairy industry seeks Trump’s help with Canada under NAFTA

U.S. dairy organizations and the state departments of agriculture across the country turned to President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday to combat Canada’s existing and soon-to-be-expanded protectionist policies designed to block imports from the United States. They say the policies are in direct violation of Canada’s trade commitments under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the… Continue Reading

WTO Authorizes $1 Billion in Retaliatory Tariffs Against COOL

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has authorized Canada and Mexico to charge the U.S. $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs for country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat. Last spring, WTO rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL unfairly discriminates against meat imports and gives the advantage to domestic meat products. COOL, which went into effect for meat… Continue Reading

USDA Plans to Begin Catfish Inspections in March 2016

Long-awaited U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) catfish inspections, mandated by Farm Bills since 2008, will begin next March, according to a final rule establishing an inspection program for fish in the order Siluriformes, including catfish. The final rule, which applies to both domestically raised and imported Siluriformes fish, was developed by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection… Continue Reading

USTR Tells WTO That COOL Damages Are Much Lower Than Estimated

Last week, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) filed a legal brief in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute over mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL), arguing that the $3 billion sought by Canada and Mexico in retaliatory tariffs are a dramatic overestimation of damages. The U.S. requested that the WTO Arbitrator reject the amounts requested by… Continue Reading

Senators Introduce Bill for Voluntary COOL Label

Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced a bill Thursday that would remove certain meats from the mandatory country-of-origin (COOL) labeling program and institute a voluntary label instead. In May, the World Trade Organization rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL on meat unfairly discriminates against meat imports and give the… Continue Reading

More Food Safety Issues Popping Up on WTO Committee Agenda

China, Costa Rica, and the European Union earlier this month put new food safety-related issues on the agenda at the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures. China told the SPS Committee that it plans to amend its safety assessment of agricultural genetically modified food and feed, sometimes referred to as biotech… Continue Reading

Senate Agriculture Committee Mulls Options on COOL

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing Thursday to discuss country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat, which requires that packages sold in the U.S. indicate the country, or countries, where animals were born, raised and slaughtered. “It doesn’t matter if you’re pro-COOL (and many are) or anti-COOL (and many are), you cannot ignore the fact that retaliation… Continue Reading

Michigan Senator Offers Voluntary COOL Draft for Discussion Purposes

The Senate Agriculture Committee hearing Wednesday on country-of-origin labeling (COOL) and trade retaliation got something new to chew on. On the eve of the first Senate action since the House of Representatives voted to repeal COOL, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the ranking minority member on the committee, circulated a draft bill for voluntary COOL. The Michigan… Continue Reading

House Votes to Repeal Country-of-Origin Labeling for Meat

The House of Representatives has voted to repeal country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef, pork, and chicken. Texas Republican Rep. Michael Conaway’s Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015 passed late Wednesday night by a 300-131 vote. Conaway introduced the bill on May 18 — the same day the World Trade Organization rejected a U.S. appeal of its… Continue Reading