The World Trade Organization (WTO) has decided it will establish a dispute settlement panel to rule on the legality of the U.S. country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) law following challenges by Canada and Mexico, according to media reports.
Canada and Mexico complained the rules are stifling their livestock industries because U.S. meatpackers are choosing to refrain from buying their animals rather than go through the trouble of sorting them and labeling product in accordance with the rules.
"Our assessments are showing us that COOL is having a negative impact on Canadian farmers and livestock producers," Stockwell Day, Canada's minister of international trade, said in a statement. "We continue to stand up for the rights of Canadian producers during the dispute settlement process and make the case that the United States should lift these onerous requirements."
The WTO panel will determine whether COOL rules comply with U.S. WTO trade obligations. The panel is expected to issue its report next summer or early fall, according to Canadian officials. Media reports indicate the panel will issue a joint decision on the complaints of Canada and Mexico.
Reprinted from meatingplace.com