The U.S. Country of Origin Labeling rule (COOL) has been around for a while, and requires meat labels to describe where animals have been born, raised and slaughtered.
But after the World Trade Organization last month found it unfairly discriminated against imported livestock, Congress has been scrambling to repeal the rule to avoid costly trade retaliation.
Unless the Senate takes cues from the House and also repeals COOL, National Pork Producers Council president elect John Weber says Canada and Mexico won’t hesitate to tighten the thumbscrews on the U.S. livestock sector.
Weber says, ”I think both countries are ready to put significant tariffs on a wide variety of products. We’re somewhat fearful with the amount of pork we export to Mexico that significant tariffs could be placed on pork products. Obviously making them more competitive in the international market and Canada’s going to do the same thing. We don’t expect to be left off the retaliation list.”
Without repeal, the retaliation is expected to total $3.5 billion between Canada and Mexico, which in 2014 imported $900 million and $1.5 billion in U.S. pork respectively.