- In the latest news of the country of original labeling (COOL) dispute, Canada is requesting that the World Trade Organization enable the country to impose more than $2.4 billion a year in tariffs on a wide variety of U.S. goods.
- Last month, WTO denied the U.S.'s fourth and final appeal, upholding the ruling that COOL discriminates against producers in Mexico and Canada.
- Whether the tariffs will go into effect depends if Congress amends the COOL legislation, which the House moved to repeal just after the WTO's final denial of the appeal.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, COOL is already costing U.S. producers, packers, and retailers a hefty $2.6 billion per year with little demonstrated benefit. Supporters believe this legislation ensures consumers have the information they need to make a purchase, but the USDA is not convinced that such labeling will sway consumers' choices either way.
The WTO has consistently sided with Canada and Mexico, so the U.S. may be fighting an unwinnable battle if it continues with COOL in place.