US beef in Mexico

U.S. beef being sold in a wet market in Mexico

Ouch! Canada, Mexico announce COOL retaliation figures

Canada and Mexico will seek $3.6 billion in annual country of origin labeling (COOL) retaliatory tariffs

In a joint statement, the governments of Canada and Mexico announced they will seek a combined $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs against U.S. goods. And they plan to move quickly, saying they will ask the WTO for a special Dispute Settlement Body meeting on June 17 to consider the request.

Here’s the statement:

“The Honorable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honorable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, jointly with Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, and Enrique Martínez y Martínez, Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, today issued the following statement on the two countries’ next steps at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States’ country of origin labeling (COOL) measure:

“On May 18, 2015, the WTO once again confirmed Canada and Mexico’s long-standing position that the United States’ mandatory COOL requirements for beef and pork are discriminatory and are a violation of the United States’ international trade obligations.

“The amended COOL measure, which causes Canadian and Mexican livestock and meat to be segregated from those of U.S. origin, is damaging to North America’s supply chain and is harmful to producers and processors in all three countries.

“In light of the WTO’s final decision and due to the fact that this blatantly protectionist measure remains in place, our governments today are asking the WTO for a special Dispute Settlement Body meeting to request retaliation rights against the United States, to take place on June 17.

“Canada will request authorization from the WTO to impose over C$3 billion in retaliatory measures against the U.S., while Mexico will seek authorization for over US$653 million.

“We continue to call on the United States to repeal COOL legislation for beef and pork and comply with its international obligations.

“The Canadian and Mexican governments will continue to work closely to resolve this important trade issue with the United States in order to defend our farmers and ranchers and maintain jobs and economic prosperity throughout North America.”

The move puts pressure on the U.S. House and Senate to act quickly to repeal the COOL law before retaliation occurs. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a bill offered by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), chair of the House Agriculture Committee. The measure then moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

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