USCA (January 22, 2015)—The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) called attention this week to a new economic analysis which focused on the impacts of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on US cattle imports and cattle prices. In a press conference held today, C. Robert Taylor, Ph.D., Auburn University Scholar and Professor, stated the findings of his recent study concerning COOL and its effect on trade.
Specifically, Dr. Taylor focused the study on trading practices between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico since the revised COOL law went into effect. The study clarifies that any declines present in market research since 2008 can be explained by multiple factors, none involving COOL.
The study made it clear that the primary anti-COOL claim that COOL has caused a decline in livestock in livestock exports to the U.S. is factually incorrect. Opponents claim that COOL has directly caused recent years’ decline in imports of cattle from Canada and Mexico. The study points out that in reality this trend is linked to the economic downturn and ensuing decline in consumer demand.
Past studies used by those in opposition to COOL to support their position and explain the supposed flux in trading patterns, such as those by University of California, Davis professor Daniel Sumner and Iowa State University professor Sébastien Pouliot, ignore robust and reliable Mandatory Price Reporting (MPR) Data as reported to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Dr. Taylor’s study uses MPR data as well as monthly trade statistics to clarify identified trading patterns which results in reaffirming the legitimacy of COOL in today’s international marketplace.
USCA President Danni Beer, Keldron, South Dakota, commented on Dr. Taylor’s study, “Opponents have continued to state that COOL acts as a barrier to trade and adversely affects cattle imports and prices. This study confirms that COOL, a mechanism used to provide consumers more information about the source of their food, does not in fact affect the volume or price of cattle exports to the US.”
President Beer concluded her thoughts on today’s press conference, “USCA maintains the position that COOL is a tool that benefits the consumer and has not affected the trading practices of either Canada or Mexico in the US market. I urge all members of Congress, the Administration and my fellow ranchers to consider this study and its findings and to apply this research to the conversation on COOL. We look forward to working with Congress and the USDA in addressing the study’s findings and applying this research to the current debate on COOL.”
NEW STUDY HERE