January 31, 2014
Authored by: Sara Ahmed and Brandon Neuschafer
A decision has not come down from the U.S. Court of Appeals regarding the USDA’s Country of Origin Labeling “COOL” law , but Canada is positioning itself to launch a trade-war with the United States just in case.
Earlier this week, the Farm Bill was passed by the House of Representatives and made its way to the Senate for approval. A Senate vote is expected next week, but Canadians are not hopeful for an amicable settlement as the House did not make any substantive changes to the country of original labeling requirements.
Since 2008, when COOL was initially adopted, Canada has dissented, claiming that the it is far too costly and injures the meat industry. Gerry Ritz and Ed Fast, Canada’s Federal Agriculture Minister and International Trade Minister made the following combined statement:
“By refusing to fix country-of-origin labelling, the U.S. is effectively legislating its own citizens out of work, and harming Canadian and American livestock producers alike by disrupting the highly- integrated North American meat industry supply chain.”
With claims to take the issue to the World Trade Organization, if Canada prevails, tariffs could be imposed on U.S. exports as early as 2015. If unsuccessful, Canada has expressed that it will support the U.S. and Mexican meat industries in attempting to obtain injunctive relief from the law.
Digest will continue to provide updates regarding the battle surrounding COOL.