The COOL Reform Coalition – including the International Dairy Foods Association, National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council – sent a letter to Congress emphasizing the need for a contingency plan for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and highlighting Secretary Vilsack’s request for direction from Congress.
The coalition, co-chaired by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, does not oppose COOL requirements, but believes that modifications to COOL are required to ensure its consistency with U.S. international trade obligations. On Oct. 20, a World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel released a report declaring that the U.S. COOL revised rule was non-compliant. The governments of Mexico and Canada, which brought the case to the WTO, would be authorized to retaliate against the U.S. by imposing tariffs on U.S. manufactured goods and agricultural products in the event of a final WTO adjudication on the matter, which is expected in the second half of 2015.
Visit the COOL Reform Coalition website for more information, including the map showing the products from every state that could be affected. It also offers an online letter that members can send to Congress asking for intervention to prevent retaliation.