Ernst responds to WTO ruling on COOL retaliation tariffs

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) responded on Monday to an official World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on retaliation tariffs that Mexico and Canada may seek against the U.S. for mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).

“Today’s ruling by the WTO sends a clear message that it is time to repeal this policy, which will negatively impact our own producers if continued,” Ernst said. “The WTO has repeatedly found that this mandatory COOL law fails to comply with our free trade agreements, and now Mexico and Canada have been given the go-ahead to take over $1 billion in retaliatory action against the United States. “

COOL was originally authorized more than a decade ago as part of the Farm Bill. COOL requires the disclosure of the country where livestock are born, raised and slaughtered. The WTO, however, ruled that the COOL label provides an unfair advantage to products from the U.S. because consumers are wary of meat produced outside of its borders.

Both Canada and Mexico have expressed full support for the WTO’s ruling, adding that a North American label is not an acceptable alternative.

“We’ve been putting this off for far too long and the time to act is now,” Ernst said. “The Senate must pick-up the reigns and pass a full repeal of COOL to avoid unnecessary harm to our agricultural and manufacturing sectors. I remain committed to ensuring that our products reach other countries without retaliation to our American producers who are the backbone of Iowa and an integral part of our economic vitality.”

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