Colin Woodall Expects US to Appeal Latest WTO Ruling Against COOL- and to Lose AgainTue, 21 Oct 2014 05:48:00 CDT
The World Trade Organization has again ruled against Country of Origin Labeling. The WTO compliance panel decided the rule was less favorable to meat imports from Canada and Mexico and more favorable to domestically produced meats. The ruling was announced Monday. The panel concluded the amended COOL measure "increases the original COOL measure's detrimental impact on the competitive opportunities of imported livestock in the US market," according to the reports released by the WTO. The panel pointed to the incentive to choose domestic over imported livestock and a higher recordkeeping burden contributed to the ruling. The United States can appeal the ruling.
Canada's Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told Canada Today he expected the U.S. to appeal. A U.S. Trade office spokesperson told reporter Jerry Hagstrom that "we are considering all options, including appealing the panels' reports."
Veteran Cattle Industry Lobbyist Colin Woodall told Ron Hays with the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network that his group fully expects the Obama Administration will appeal this latest decision from the Dispute Panel. He says he believes that they have too much invested in the current rule that has been in place since last May to not exhaust all appeals and drag out the final step in the WTO process, which would be retaliations by both Canada and Mexico. The entire conversation between Hays and Woodall on reaction to the WTO ruling is featured in today's beef Buzz- which you can hear by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Earlier this year, Canadian agriculture officials said retaliations are likely if the US government does not respond in a timely fashion. Ritz said Canada is calling upon the U.S. to enact legislative change to eliminate COOL's discriminatory treatment against Canadian hogs and cattle."
Back in July, Hays talked with Ag Minister Ritz, who said the Canadians believe the solution is for Congress to repeal the current mandatory law- and replace it with a voluntary market driven approach.
Woodall agreed with Minister, Ritz, saying that Congress is really the only one that can fix COOL- that USDA Secretary Vilsack can't make the current language trade compliant.
Woodall also talked of the damage that could happen if retaliation does take place- tariffs being placed on US exports into Canada and Mexico could make a variety of US goods less affordable in both countries. At the same time, the rule in operation has been a nightmare for cattle producers and others along the beef supply chain- and the burden placed on the industry has cost producers and others a lot of time and money.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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