Tariff Trouble - Country of Origin Labeling
The U.S. has been dealing with the aftermath of a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements unfairly discriminate against meat imports. After the ruling, Congress made attempts to repeal the COOL requirements, while Canada and Mexico sought authorization from the WTO to impose $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.
On December 7, 2015, a WTO panel decided that Canada and Mexico collectively could impose over $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs related to COOL. The decision is not subject to appeal.
To avoid the authorized trade sanctions, the U.S. may either take immediate action to repeal the COOL requirements or broker a diplomatic trade resolution directly with the Canadian and Mexican governments. U.S. industry trade associations are calling for a repeal of the COOL requirements as soon as possible, and reports indicate that a COOL fix could appear in proposed legislation as early as this week.