CCA Calls for US COOL to be Withdrawn

CANADA - The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) has called on that the US to withdraw its proposed rule for mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) because the association claims it fails to bring the U.S. into compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.
calendar icon 16 April 2013
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The recommendation is found in the concluding remarks of the CCA comments submitted last week in response to the USDA’s proposed regulation published in the Federal Register on 12 March.

The CCA recommendation is made in light of USDA’s failure to provide any explanation of how the proposed rule would bring the US into compliance with its WTO obligations.

The CCA adds that the COOL proposal also does not have a credible cost/benefit analysis.

“These deficiencies fall well short of satisfying the proper US rulemaking process and on this basis, the USDA should withdraw the rule,” the CCA said.

The CCA added that the proposed rule would only escalate the level of discrimination and cost to livestock producers in Canada and Mexico.

In Canada, it is estimated that the proposed rule would significantly increase damages from COOL beyond the current impact of C$25 to C$40 per head.

“The CCA’s position remains that the only way the US can come into compliance with the WTO is to amend the COOL legislation to allow either a single mandatory label for all meat processed in the U.S. or to allow for voluntary labelling,” the CCA said.

“Until this outcome is achieved, the CCA will continue to work with its allies in the US and Mexico and with the Government of Canada to ensure compliance, seek compensation or take retaliatory action through the WTO.”

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