ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

NFU Calls on USTR to Defend COOL

by 5m Editor
16 March 2009, at 9:45am

US - National Farmers Union joined 13 organizations on 13 March, urging the US Trade Representative (USTR) to defend mandatory country of origin labelling (COOL) against World Trade Organization (WTO) challenges.

The organizations submitted comments to USTR following a 17 February 2009 request in the Federal Register.

Under the United States’ existing WTO commitments regarding mandatory COOL requirements, USTR received requests for consultations from the governments of Canada and Mexico in December 2008. The two foreign governments contend the 2008 Farm Bill, which mandates retail-level labeling of meat, produce, nuts and poultry, violates existing WTO obligations.

NFU and the other organizations, all long-time supporters of mandatory COOL, urged USTR to vigorously defend the law at the WTO. "This is the first opportunity for the Obama Administration to demonstrate the president’s pledge to aggressively defend our rights before WTO dispute panels," the groups said.

"This is about truth in labeling," NFU President Tom Buis said. "We are not asking our trading partners to do anything they are not already doing, and I am confident the WTO process will find COOL does not violate current trade rules."