The World Trade Organization (WTO) today, June 29, 2012, issued its final ruling on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), which was originally released in November of 2011 and appealed on March 23, 2012, by the U.S. Trade Representative. National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President Bob McCan issued the following statement.
“The World Trade Organization has been extremely clear that mandatory Country of Origin Labeling is a clear WTO violation. This most recent decision is very similar to the initial ruling made three months ago. Instead of working diligently to bring the United States into WTO compliance, we wasted three months and taxpayer dollars on an appeal process. This did nothing more than jeopardize our strong trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, the two largest importers of U.S. beef. The Obama Administration prolonged an issue that could have been resolved quickly.
“NCBA worked with Canada and Mexico to prevent any retaliatory action that could have occurred from the unfortunate decision made by the U.S. government to appeal the initial ruling.
“Cattlemen deserve a government that fights for and protects our opportunities. We need a government that not only demands WTO compliance of our trade partners but one that ensures the United States is abiding by these same guidelines. We are committed to working with this administration and Congress to find a permanent solution to this issue in order to bring the United States back into compliance. It is absolutely critical that the United States leads by example.”