Federal Spotlight: Take action on U.S. COOL law

July 9, 2015

In May, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that portions of the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law violate international trade obligations. Currently, COOL requires that food retailers label muscle cuts of meat, poultry, ground beef, ground pork, and other food products, with information on where the animal was born, raised, and slaughtered. Without the U.S. Senate taking action to repeal COOL and comply with the WTO, this ruling could have a major adverse impact on U.S. food producers and grocery stores.

Food producers and those in related industries would primarily feel the impact through retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico and Canada as early as this summer. These countries feel that the COOL law unfairly segregates meat products from their countries, and would be able to impose import tariffs worth more than 3 billion dollars on the United States. In early June, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 300-131 to repeal the COOL law and bring the United States into compliance with the WTO ruling.

At this time, the U.S. Senate has not taken action. ABI has sent letters to U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst urging them to prevent these costly tariffs. Please click here to learn more about the issue and to encourage the Senate to repeal COOL.