The Senate Agriculture Committee has announced a June 25 hearing to address country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements for meat, and possible trade retaliation related to COOL requirements. More details are available from the committee’s website.
Last week the House of Representatives approved legislation (H.R. 2393), repealing COOL requirements for beef, pork and chicken. On a related note, a June 16 panel discussion hosted by the National Pork Producers Council and Global Business Dialogue, Inc. featured representatives from Canada and Mexico who reiterated their intention to seek authorization of retaliatory tariffs unless Congress repeals COOL requirements for beef and pork.
Kenneth Smith Ramos, who heads the trade office at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., said products included on Mexico’s retaliation list will likely be similar to those targeted in 2010-2011 during the NAFTA trucking dispute (some U.S. pork cuts were subject to retaliatory tariffs at that time). John Masswohl, director of government and international relations for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, emphasized that Canada’s retaliation list not only includes beef and pork, but also a wide range of non-agricultural goods. He praised the House’spassage of H.R. 2393 and urged the Senate to take similar action.