Senate still has not passed bill to repeal COOL requirements.

  • As previously covered on this blog, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill to repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for meat products.  The COOL requirements have long been mired in controversy, culminating in a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that the COOL requirements violate U.S. trade obligations to Canada and Mexico.  Unless the COOL requirements are repealed, the WTO may authorize retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico.
  • On June 25, 2015 — two weeks after the House passed a bill to repeal COOL — the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to discuss the COOL requirements.  Five of the six testifying witnesses supported the immediate repeal of COOL, and Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) cited letters from Canadian and Mexican government officials, indicating both governments’ plans to seek retaliation absent repeal.
  • The Senate appears to be contemplating a voluntary COOL program for beef and pork, for which there may already be some support.  In the meantime, however, stakeholders anxiously await the Senate’s vote to repeal the existing mandatory COOL requirements before the U.S. suffers any retaliatory impact.