Meat-labeling Legislation Sparks Fear of Retaliation Against US

Industry groups and top U.S. trading partners are pushing back against legislation to redesign an Agriculture Department meat-labeling rule found to violate international standards, arguing the regulations should be scrapped altogether.

In May, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) appellate body weighed in on the long-running dispute, siding with Canada and Mexico and ruling that the U.S. regulations put those countries at an unfair disadvantage in the U.S. marketplace.
he two nations are now threatening to impose a total of $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. food, agriculture and manufacturing if the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule is not fully repealed.

The two nations are now threatening to impose a total of $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. food, agriculture and manufacturing if the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule is not fully repealed.

“In talking to Canada and Mexico, the only way to ensure we will never see retaliation is full repeal,” said Colin Woodall, vice president of government affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Legislation aiming to replace the mandatory labeling rule with a voluntary program, introduced last week by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), doesn’t fix the problem, Woodall said.