The World Trade Organization (WTO) has determined that the United States Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule violates U.S. trade obligations. This ruling allows America’s two largest export markets, Canada and Mexico, to establish retaliatory tariffs that would cost the U.S. billions in export sales as a result of an anticipated 100% Canadian tariff on baked goods and ingredients. On December 7th, the WTO will determine the amount of the Canadian and Mexican tariffs to be imposed by the end of the year.
If Congress successfully repeals COOL before retaliatory tariffs taking effect, the United States will be in compliance with the WTO ruling and avoid retaliation by its two largest trade partners. Last summer, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill repealing the COOL mandate, but to date, the U.S. Senate has failed to take up this legislation, or offer a viable alternative to avoid retaliation.
Currently, Members of Congress are working to develop an “Omnibus Spending Package” that they will vote on by December 11. With the clock running out, the baking industry is faced with very few options. It is imperative that COOL Repeal be included in the Omnibus spending package to ensure that this major trade issue is resolved before billions of dollars in US trade are lost, your company’s bottom line is impacted, and consumers are faced with higher food costs.
The American Bakers Association urges you to #RisetoAction today and request that your senators and representatives include COOL Repeal in any Omnibus Spending Package.
For questions, contact:
Manager, Government Relations & Public Affairs
American Bakers Association
(202) 789-0300 x106