Five senators sent a letter to Senate leadership today to convey their concerns about the potential for retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico if current U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements are left unchanged. The senators called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to ensure that the Senate passes legislation that would resolve the trade dispute before the end of this year.
The senators calling for action are Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA).
“Canada and Mexico have applied for approximately $3 billion in annual retaliatory tariffs that would target a substantial number of our states’ exports,” the letter said. “It is our understanding that the World Trade Organization will authorize Canada and Mexico to apply these damaging tariffs beginning in December of this year. Retaliatory tariffs could decimate our states’ market access in these countries for years to come.”
The WTO ruled against the COOL rule in June. Canada and Mexico had challenged the rule for muscle cuts of meat at the WTO, arguing that COOL has a trade-distorting impact by reducing the value and number of cattle and hogs shipped to the U.S. market. The WTO found the United States to be in noncompliance with its international trade obligations. The ruling is a concern to the U.S. dairy industry because of potential retaliation against U.S. dairy exports.
IDFA and its members continue to advocate for U.S. compliance with WTO obligations. The WTO’s decision on the total value of tariffs Canada and Mexico can impose against U.S. products is expected on Dec. 7.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.