NCBA Pushes Administration To Fix COOL Before RetaliationTue, 18 Nov 2014 16:31:26 CST
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association said its time for the US to deal with reality that this country needs to do something about Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Recently the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against the US again in the case brought by Canada and Mexico. NCBA Vice President Government Affairs Colin Woodall said its time we get around to addressing the problems with COOL.
"We do expect the administration to appeal this WTO decision that came out in October," Woodall said. "Just given the backlog that we have at the WTO it could be this time next year before we get that final decision, that final adjudication. At that point and time then we will transition into retaliation. So we are looking at retaliation at the earliest probably the first quarter of 2016. So unfortunately until we get to that point its going to be hard some of the Senate Democrats in this administration to understand that they have to sit down and fix this or if not we are going to have an economic problem on our hands because the retaliation is not just against beef, its against a whole slew of products."
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Woodall on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
In the new Congress, the Republicans will have gained control of the Senate. Woodall said there are 53 Republican Senators, so that may not be enough to address COOL as a lot of times it takes 60 Senators to pass legislation.
"So we're still going to need Democrats to step up and to help us prevent retaliation against not only beef, pork and chicken, but also wine, fruits and vegetables, manufactured goods, furniture and everything else," Woodall said. "I think its those other goods that will ultimately help us get the attention of some of these Democrats and know they need to step up."
The Obama Administration will likely not announce if the US will take their final appeal until after January first. Woodall is almost certain the administration will appeal.
Another hot topic was the recent announcement by US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to move quickly forward on the creation of a second beef checkoff. Vilsack is asking for comments be filed through the Federal Register through December 10th. Woodall said NCBA will be commenting on the proposal.
"We are in the process of drafting our comments," Woodall said. "It's important we engage and show the Secretary that we're serious about trying to find a way to increase the beef checkoff, but unfortunately his method is not the way we think is best. By putting in place a duplicative beef checkoff, basically what he is doing is consolidating power in Washington DC, taking the power away from the Cattlemen's Beef Board, taking power away from the state beef councils and by the statue passed in 1996 that provides the genetic act he could appoint anybody to that board it doesn't even have to be producers. That's a problem. In addition to the fact there is going be a lot of duplication, whenever you get duplication you are just wasting producer dollars."
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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