WTO COOL tariff decision expected in November

A World Trade Organization arbitration panel will issue a final decision on Nov. 27 concerning the amount of annual retaliatory tariffs Canada and Mexico can impose on U.S imports as a result of country-of-origin labeling.

Earlier this month, Canada and Mexico defended their proposed tariffs before a WTO hearing with Canada requesting $2.5 billion in retaliatory tariffs and Mexico asking for $713 million annually. The United States argued the level of tariffs for Canada and Mexico should be approximately $90 million combined.

Earlier this year, the WTO ruled for a fourth and final time that COOL violates the U.S.’s international trade obligations and illegally discriminates against imported livestock from Canada and Mexico. Unless Congress changes the COOL statute, Canada and Mexico will be authorized to impose tariffs after the November decision.

The House of Representatives has passed legislation to repeal COOL. The Senate has two bills regarding COOL – one to repeal COOL and one to replace COOL with a voluntary program. Canada and Mexico have stated that repeal of COOL is the only way to stop the proposed retaliatory tariffs.

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