National Farmers Union, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association submit joint letter to trade representative


WASHINGTON — The National Farmers Union and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association submitted a joint letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, urging a vigorous defense of the country of origin labeling (COOL) law at the World Trade Organization.


On Jan. 8, National Farmers Union and U.S. Cattlemen’s Association filed joint comments in response to the Dec. 4 Federal Register Notice regarding the COOL challenge filed by Canada and Mexico with the World Trade Organization.

“A close examination of the data and facts surrounding this international challenge of a domestic law reflects that North American livestock trade has been impacted by the volatility in exchange rates, Canadian and U.S. feed prices, climate conditions, escalating transportation costs, competing protein sources, a weakened economy, a subsequent decline in demand for beef products and a substantial decline in Canadian cattle herds,” said U.S. Cattlemen’s Association President Jon Wooster.


When COOL was mandated by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill, the action fulfilled a decade of work by livestock producers to see their product differentiated in retail cases in a manner that provides meaningful point-of-purchase information to consumers.

All sectors of the industry, including production and processing were involved in the sensitive negotiations finalizing the language in the COOL law.

“National Farmers Union has been a long-time advocate for COOL, playing a key role in the negotiations that led to its inclusion in the 2008 Farm Bill and working with the United States Department of Agriculture to ensure the law’s implementation and enforcement,” said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson.

Of late, 26 U.S. senators sent a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture and the United States Trade Representative urging a vigorous defense of the COOL law at the World Trade Organization.


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  1. We as consumers are only asking that we know where our food is imported from. COOL is not a trade barrier or tariff,it is merely a label of origin. If other nations are producing a quality product, why do they feel so threatened by COOL?


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