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Agricultural News

NCBA Urges Senate to Take Up COOL to Prevent Retaliation by Canada and Mexico

Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:58:38 CDT

NCBA Urges Senate to Take Up COOL to Prevent Retaliation by Canada and Mexico

Congress has a limited amount of time left to address mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). Earlier this summer, the House of Representatives voted to repeal COOL, now action waits on the U.S. Senate. Some agricultural groups continue to say the U.S. doesn't have to hurry in voting on the matter. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said the U.S. is getting closer to having a retaliation number set by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which would allow Mexico and Canada to retaliate against the U.S. Once that figure is released, retaliation will begin, then the U.S. will have to go through the entire WTO dispute settlement process, which could take two to five years. Woodall said Canada and Mexico believe their retaliation request will approved by the WTO.

"As soon as they get the OK from the WTO, they will commence retaliation against the U.S. beef industry and many other industries that they have outlined as potential products to have a tariff placed on that product, as it's imported," Woodall said. "Now everybody needs to understand that a tariff is basically a tax and for beef we are looking at a 100 percent tax on our product. That will in effect shut down the trade that we have with Canada, which continues to be one of the top five markets for export of U.S. beef."

That's unacceptable to NCBA, especially after the 300-131 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal COOL. Woodall said now the U.S. Senate needs to take up COOL. Some agricultural groups believe Congress shouldn't be so quick to repeal COOL and there is a way to negotiate a fix. Woodall said there is only one way to prevent retaliation, which is full repeal of COOL.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, previous Senate Ag Chairman, has introduced legislation for a voluntary COOL program. Woodall said that's not a viable solution, as the Canadians and Mexicans have already stated they will not support the concept. As long as the Canadians and Mexicans continue to push back over COOL, he believes the WTO will rule in their favor.

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.

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.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Colin Woodall of NCBA
right-click to download mp3


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