USCA (December 7, 2015) – United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Danni Beer urged lawmakers and cattle producers to continue to stand strong in their support of country of origin labeling (COOL) in spite of today’s announcement by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on acceptable retaliatory tariffs by Mexico and Canada.
“Today’s ruling represents a reduction of approximately $2 billion from the originally submitted claims by Canada and Mexico in the form of retaliatory tariffs against COOL. The new figure of $1.01 billion still falls short of providing an accurate representation of the actual “harm” to Mexico and Canada via COOL; especially given the stable and even increased beef imports from Canada to the U.S. While still an inaccurate representation of the market, today’s announcement and reduction of initially inflated figures provides a starting point for discussions.”
“The WTO announcement does not set an immediate tariff on any goods. Rather, Canada and Mexico must now request authorization from the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to allow any retaliatory actions to occur. This is not an overnight process and USCA will continue to work with Congress and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to achieve a workable solution to COOL.”
“USCA is committed to exhausting all efforts on this issue and remain supportive of the Stabenow-Hoeven approach to COOL which is still on the table. The voluntary option on COOL provides a common sense solution to COOL. The ability to maintain the integrity of COOL while adhering to WTO parameters is a workable solution for U.S., Mexico and Canada cattle producers.”
“Today’s announcement is an affirmation of USCA’s initial doubts regarding the legitimacy of Canada and Mexico’s claims against COOL. The ability to keep COOL and an accurate “U.S. Beef” label is still a realistic option and producers across the country must now stand strong in support of the Hoeven-Stabenow voluntary COOL approach.”