A broad coalition of U.S. industries is calling on Congress to immediately direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to rescind elements of country of origin labeling (COOL) that have been determined by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be noncompliant with international trade obligations. The coalition members are concerned that Canada and Mexico will “retaliate against U.S. goods resulting in lost sales in the billions and put thousands of jobs at risk.” Mexico and Canada have both consistently stated that they would retaliate if the WTO ruled in their favor. After the recent WTO decision, Canadian Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz said, “We don’t want to go the retaliatory route, but we certainly will should it be forced upon us.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “Canada and Mexico are the two largest markets for U.S. exports. The disruption of these trade ties by WTO noncompliance and the resulting retaliation by our North American neighbors will have a devastating economic impact on U.S. industries including food production, agriculture and manufacturing.” The COOL Reform Coalition is co-chaired by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.