The country-of-origin (COOL) labeling dispute between the U.S., Canada and Mexico drew the attention of House and Senate farm bill conferees at their initial meeting on Wednesday. Several members of the conference committee suggested mandatory COOL should be revised or repealed because of the risk of retaliatory measures by Canada and Mexico. The opening remarks from House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) included the following statement:
“Another issue important to the livestock community is the pending WTO case associated with mandatory country of origin and the potential retaliation from our trading partners. I am hopeful that working together we can prevent the imposition of tariffs on a wide array of products important to many states.”
The next meeting date for the farm bill conference committee has not yet been announced. USMEF will post further updates as work on the farm bill continues.