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A Simple Idea! How Cool is That!!

It’s such a simple idea.   Let’s label our food so that we know where it comes from.

Well—- apparently not. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) has been a hot topic for the past 20 years. Yes, 20 years!! I was a younger woman back then. Slow walk forward to 2002 and Congress actually included provisions mandating COOL for all U.S. commodities.

Simple, the label, “Product of the U.S.A.”, would be stamped on agricultural commodities and products raised and processed in the United States.

Let the fireworks begin.   Canada and Mexico go before the World Trade Organization (WTO) and claim the U.S. labeling law and regulations for beef and pork were not compliant with WTO rules.

6 years of fighting later, the WTO has made it clear they agree with Canada and Mexico. Now the U.S. has to make changes or face sanctioned retaliation by Canada and Mexico.

What now? In the past few months the House Agriculture Committee has completed action to repeal the offensive sections of COOL, but the debate still continues in the Senate. And we wait …” watching for the white smoke to come out of the chimney at the WTO to see what they have decided about the level of trade retaliation,” said Dale Moore, executive director of Public Policy. “ Canada and Mexico could have a joint $7.2 billion in retaliation. That means they can impose tariffs on up to $7 billion dollars. Moore, who was speaking at the workshop during the Montana Farm Bureau Convention in Missoula, said the real problem with retaliation by Canada and Mexico is that it won’t be just against beef and pork products, but they will retaliate against poultry, wine, other commodities and even non-agricultural items that trade among the countries. “

imageThe Decision: The World Trade Organization has issued a decision by its arbitration panel to allow Canada and Mexico to retaliate against U.S. goods with $1.01 billion in tariffs. The WTO Arbitrator determined annual impairment to Canada at $780 million and Mexico at $227.758 million.


And that is what happens to simple ideas.



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