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US senators endorse implementation of COOL

A total of 26 US senators have written the American secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack and US trade representative Ron Kirk to state their support for the implementation of Country-of-Origin Labelling (COOL) for e.g. meat and pork products.

They commended the administration for its efforts regarding the World Trade Organization complaint filed by Canada and Mexico.

The senators said, "We believe that, in a manner consistent with General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) obligations, the COOL programme as signed into law in the 2008 Farm Bill is nondiscriminatory in its treatment of imported goods, mandating that both domestic and imported goods covered under the law be labelled with country of origin."

A couple of days ago, the American Meat Institute (AMI) told the Office of the US trade representative that mandatory COOL violates the United States international trade obligations for many reasons and that the US must honour these obligations.

Implementation of COOL may help improving the situation of US pork producers, but Canadian and Mexican pork producers fear the US market will not turn in their favour once COOL is in place.

Related websites:
• World Trade Organization (WTO)
• American Meat Institute (AMI)

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