Friday, August 14, 2015

COOL Dispute Arbitration Date Set

By Tyler R. Etter

A date has been set by the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body for the arbitration hearing on Canada and Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs against the United States in response to Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). At the request of the parties, the hearing will be open to the public, occurring on September 15 and 16, 2015.

A decision in May found the mandatory COOL labeling to be in violation of the United States’ international obligations to Canada and Mexico. The two nations are seeking over $3 billion in retaliatory tariff measures against U.S. goods. The U.S. has requested a decision rejecting the proposed damages, instead setting totals at $43.22 million and $47.55 million.

The U.S. House of Representatives has since passed a bill to repeal COOL, but the Senate has passed competing measures. One proposal is for the creation of a voluntary “Product of the U.S.” label, and another would repeal COOL for beef, pork, and chicken from the surface transportation bill.

Canada and Mexico have already voiced opposition to the voluntary label, and will proceed if COOL is not fully repealed.

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