U.S. coalition calls for reinstatement of COOL

A U.S. lobby group that is closely aligned with the Trump administration on trade policy is trying to bring mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) back into the spotlight through the NAFTA negotiations.

The Coalition for a Prosperous America, whose board includes R-CALF USA director Bill Bullard, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday calling for the reinstatement of COOL for beef and pork, as Mexican officials arrived in Washington for another set of NAFTA meetings.

“If the president wants to extend his ‘Buy American, Hire American’ agenda to the nation’s agricultural sector, then we need to revise our food labeling policies,” said coalition chair Dan DiMicco. “Americans undoubtedly want to buy safe, domestically farmed beef and pork. They should have the option to choose where their food is raised.”

We urge you to seek concessions from Canada and Mexico to either waive any pending rights conferred upon them from their pending WTO complaint against the U.S. COOL law or to agree to enter a consent decree to allow the United States to reinstate COOL for beef. Pork was also included in Canada and Mexico’s complaint and, for the same reasons outlined above, should also be reinstated under the U.S. COOL law.

— letter from the coalition for a Propserous America to Robert Lighthizer

The U.S. originally implemented COOL in 2008. Canada and Mexico successful challenged the protectionist policy through the World Trade Organization, ultimately ending in its repeal in December 2015.

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