NCBA Says U.S. Senate on Deadline to Repeal COOL Before Retaliation Kicks InWed, 09 Dec 2015 18:17:28 CST
On Monday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced the retaliation number that will be allowed for Canada and Mexico to use in moving forward in tariffs imposed against the United States good and services that result from the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule that has been ruled noncompliant by WTO. The U.S. COOL rule for fresh beef and pork has been ruled out-of-bounds by the WTO. It's a process that's been going on for the past several years. The final confirmation of that number will come next Friday, December 18, according to Canadian officials. National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said the opportunity to avoid the retaliation of the billion dollars annually between the two countries comes this week. He said the reticulation number came in close to their expectations.
"We were always confident that this would be a number in excess of a billion dollars and sure enough that's exactly where it landed," Woodall said. "Now any member of Congress who looks at this is going to have a hard time going back to back to their district or their state and defending why a billion dollars' worth of retaliatory tariffs from two of our top trading partners is something that they can support."
The House of Representatives in June voted 300-131 to repeal COOL. The U.S. Senate has delayed taking a vote to repeal COOL until these retaliatory levels were released. Woodall said retaliation can still be prevented if the U.S. Senate votes to repeal COOL this week. That would require the measure to be included in the Omnibus budget bill that has a deadline of this coming Friday. If COOL repeal isn't attached to the Omnibus budget bill, then there is very little chance that COOL will be repealed any time soon. Without legislation to repeal COOL, retaliation from Canada and Mexico will begin in mid-December.
"Canada and Mexico have both made it very clear that the only way that they will drop this case and not retaliate is if the United States completely repeals this program," Woodall said.
With only a limited number of days left in session, Woodall said the Senate needs to vote to repeal COOL this week. He said NCBA's staff is spending their time with leadership from the House and Senate urging them to move forward with repeal of COOL, because this retaliation is real and has to be dealt with very quickly.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Woodall on today's Beef Buzz. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the interview.
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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