Canada and Mexico let it be known that full repeal of country-of-origin labeling was the only option for the United States to avoid retaliation.
In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Canadian Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz, said, “The only way to avoid retaliation will be to end the segregation that discriminates against our livestock exports. For Canada, legislative repeal of COOL is the only approach that will achieve this end.” He also said, “Other approaches such as a legislated ‘voluntary’ label or a generic label are not satisfactory outcomes for Canada and would force Canada to impose retaliatory tariffs, as early as late-summer.”
Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, Ildenfonso GuajardoVillarreal, said, “We understand that alternative labeling regimes may be under consideration. To be clear, repeal of the COOL measure for meat products is the only option that will resolve this dispute. Mexico applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for approving legislation to eliminate COOL’s discriminatory effects and hopes the Senate will take similar action. Doing so would put an end to a needless dispute with the U.S. top two trading partners, to the benefit of industry and consumers in all three countries.”