CLOCK IS TICKING ON CONGRESS TO REPEAL MCOOL
A World Trade Organization (WTO) arbitration panel is expected to announce December 7 the levels of retaliation Canada and Mexico will be allowed to implement against the U.S. for damages caused by mandatory country-of-origin labeling (mCOOL). Congress would need to immediately approve a full repeal of mCOOL to avoid retaliatory tariffs on a long list of U.S. goods, including beef and pork.
Canada and Mexico are proposing tariffs in excess of $3 billion per year. The U.S. government contends damages are far less than those estimated by the two countries.
According to NCBA, both Canada and Mexico account for more than $1 billion in U.S. beef purchases annually. NCBA projects losing access to these countries due to tariffs levied as a result of mCOOL retaliation could cost U.S. cattle producers more than $115 to $120 per animal sold.
The U.S. House overwhelmingly voted in June to fully repeal mCOOL for beef, pork and chicken. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts is leading efforts in the Senate to fully repeal the law. A competing bill in the Senate would make the program voluntary, but continue to require costly animal segregation found to be trade distorting by WTO.
KLA President Elect Matt Perrier, a rancher from Eureka, previews the upcoming convention and encourages his fellow ranchers to attend.