Meat Labelling Law Scrapped by United States Congress After Facing Backlash from Canada
Dec 22, 2015 06:49 AM EST
A major trade crisis between the United States and Canada was avoided when the US Congress voted to pass a more than 2,000 page spending bill into law, which also contained a two-paged rider that repealed a controversial meat labelling law, known as the COOL, CBC News writes.
The bill was signed into law by President Barrack Obama on Friday. Supporters of the meat labelling law in the US have emphasized that buyers should know where their products come from.
Had the law not been passed, both Canada and Mexico would have exercised their right to enforce US$1 Billion in tariffs on US products, in retaliation to country-of-origin labelling provisions, which according to the World Trade Order (WTO), violated international trading rules and led to discrimination against Canadian and Mexican meat products, the Chronicle Herald writes.
The COOL repeal was seen as a victory by International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, stating that it was "a great day for Canada." Freeland adds that, this development is a vindication of the true powers and the importance of the WTO dispute-resolution system. "This is a decision that will have a real and immediate benefit to the Canadian economy."
According to Senator Pat Roberts (Republican - Kansas), the chair of the Senate committee on agriculture said that the ensuing backlash from their trade partners would have damaged the US economy across all states had the COOL not been repealed.
The US House of Representatives previously voted to repeal the COOL, but it failed to garner enough support in the US Senate after facing pressure from meat farmers in their respective constituencies who sought protection from competition from Canada.
Had Canada and Mexico decided to pursue punitive action, the Examiner Times writes that not only would have US agricultural products such as cattle, pork, apples, rice, maple syrup, and wine been targeted, it also extends to key industries such as jewelry, office equipment, furniture, and mattresses.