U.S. Trade Representative Appeals WTO Decision on COOL

U.S. Trade Representative Appeals WTO Decision on COOL

Appeal will postpone retaliatory action on COOL from Canada and Mexico

The U.S. Trade Representative on Friday appealed the World Trade Organization's October ruling on Country of Origin Labeling, according to the National Farmers Union.

NFU, along with COOL supporter the U.S. Cattlemen's Association, were pleased with the appeal announcement.

"The decision today by the USTR to appeal the WTO ruling on COOL is the right thing to do for American family farmers, ranchers and consumers," said NFU President Roger Johnson.

Related: World Trade Organization Rules Against Country of Origin Labeling

Appeal will postpone retaliatory action on COOL from Canada and Mexico

The October ruling said the United States' revised Country of Origin Labeling law violates technical barriers to trade agreements because it provides less favorable treatment for Canadian and Mexican livestock.

COOL was revised in May, 2013, following a similar ruling from the WTO on a previous version of the rule.

While NFU and USCA support appeal of the WTO ruling, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association supported it, citing damage to trade relationships and cost burdens for the packing industry.

Johnson said, however, that efforts to repeal COOL would hurt consumers.

"These are inappropriate attempts to prevent consumers from having access to basic information about their food," he said of efforts to repeal COOL. "Congress should ignore these scare tactics and allow the WTO process to play out before acting prematurely."

A U.S. appeal will postpone sanction threats from Canada and Mexico, Reuters reported.

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