COOL Reform Coalition Sends Letter to Congress Asking for Immediate Action

03:54PM Oct 30, 2014
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Please be advised that the COOL Reform Coalition sent this letter to Congress at 10:00 a.m. Eastern today.  It is signed by 109 stakeholders.

October 30, 2014


The undersigned stakeholders are gravely concerned about the negative impact that the existing U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule for muscle cuts of meat will have on the U.S. economy. On October 20, 2014, a World Trade Organization (WTO) Compliance Panel released a report determining that the rule violates obligations the United States has undertaken as a member of the WTO with regard to our two largest export markets, Canada and Mexico. While there is an opportunity for the United States to appeal this decision, final adjudication should occur in early 2015. At that time, if the Compliance Panel's original findings are found to be valid, both Canada and Mexico could subject an array of U.S. exports to retaliatory tariffs. A finding of non-compliance would surely result in serious economic harm to U.S. firms and farmers that export to our neighbors.

Canada has already issued a preliminary retaliation list targeting a broad spectrum of commodities and manufactured products that will affect every state in the country. Mexico has not yet announced a preliminary retaliation list, but has implemented retaliatory tariffs in the past which may be indicative of future tariff opportunities. It is expected that U.S. industries would suffer billions in lost sales if retaliation is allowed. We invite you to review the state-by-state retaliatory analysis available at

Given the negative impact on the U.S. manufacturing and agriculture economies, we respectfully submit that it would be intolerable for the United States to maintain, even briefly, a rule that has been deemed non-compliant by the WTO. With little potential for quick Congressional action after a WTO final adjudication, we request that Congress immediately authorize and direct the Secretary of Agriculture to rescind elements of COOL that have been determined to be non-compliant with international trade obligations by a final WTO adjudication. Such action by Congress would not undermine COOL to the extent COOL is consistent with international trade obligations nor would it weaken the U.S. defense of COOL in WTO litigation.

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter and for protecting American food production, agriculture and manufacturing from economic harm.


  • Abbott
  • Agri Beef Co.
  • Altrius Group, LLC
  • American Bakers Association
  • American Beverage Association
  • American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, A.C.
  • American Feed Industry Association
  • American Frozen Food Institute
  • American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition
  • American Meat Institute
  • American Peanut Product Manufacturers, Inc.
  • American Seed Trade Association
  • American Soybean Association
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Animal Health Institute
  • Appvion
  • Archer Daniels Midland
  • Auto Care Association
  • California Chamber of Commerce
  • California Cherry Export Association
  • California Pear Growers Association
  • California Table Grape Commission
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Cargill, Incorporated
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • ConAgra Foods, Inc.
  • Consumer Electronics Association
  • Corn Refiners Association
  • Dart Container Corporation
  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group
  • Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT)
  • Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association
  • Food & Consumer Products of Canada
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • General Mills
  • Georgia Food Industry Association
  • Glanbia USA
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • Hawaii Food Industry Association
  • Herbalife Ltd.
  • The Hershey Company
  • Hills & Company
  • Hilmar Cheese Company Inc.
  • H.J. Heinz Company
  • Hormel Foods Corporation
  • Independent Bakers Association
  • Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)
  • Ingredion Incorporated
  • International Dairy Foods Association
  • International Franchise Association
  • International Sleep Products Association
  • Kellogg Company
  • Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
  • The Latino Coalition
  • Leprino Foods Company
  • Louisiana Retailers Association
  • Mars, Incorporated
  • Metals Service Center Institute
  • Midwest Food Processors Association
  • Mondelez Global LLC
  • National Association of Egg Farmers
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • National Beef Packing Co., LLC
  • National Cattlemen's Beef Association
  • National Confectioners Association
  • National Corn Growers Association
  • National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
  • National Foreign Trade Council
  • National Grain and Feed Association
  • National Grocers Association
  • National Oilseed Processors Association
  • National Pork Producers Council
  • National Renderers Association
  • National Retail Federation
  • Nestlé USA
  • Nestlé Waters North America
  • North American Equipment Dealers Association
  • North American Export Grain Association
  • North American Meat Association
  • Northwest Food Processors Association
  • Northwest Horticultural Council
  • NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies
  • Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association
  • Penford Products Co.
  • Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association
  • PepsiCo
  • Pet Food Institute
  • Produce Marketing Association
  • Red Gold, Inc.
  • Remy International, Inc.
  • Roquette America
  • Sargento Foods Inc.
  • The Schwan Food Company
  • Smithfield Foods
  • Snack Food Association
  • Sweetener Users Association
  • Tate & Lyle Americas
  • Transportation Intermediaries Association
  • Tyson Foods, Inc.
  • Unilever
  • United Egg Producers
  • United Producers, Inc.
  • United States Council for International Business
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • U.S. Premium Beef
  • USA Rice Federation
  • The Walter Bagehot Council
  • WineAmerica
  • Wine Institute


The COOL Reform Coalition is comprised of a diverse group of associations and companies that represent U.S. food, agriculture and manufacturing industries that advocates U.S. compliance with WTO obligations.  More information on COOL and the coalition is available at