WTO COOL meetings set

by Erica Shaffer
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GENEVA – The dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organization will hold country-of-origin labeling arbitration meetings Sept. 15-16 in Geneva. The meetings are open to the public.

Canada is seeking more than $3 billion in tariffs against the United States for failing to repeal US COOL regulations. The US Trade Representative said Canada’s claims are overvalued, and asked the WTO to determine how much Canada can claim through retaliatory tariffs. Mexico is seeking WTO authorization for more than $653 million.

The WTO delivered its fourth and final ruling against COOL in May. In June, the US House of Representatives voted 300 to 131 in favor of repealing COOL. The Senate developed a bill that repeals mandatory COOL and replaces it with a voluntary system lawmakers said is similar to the voluntary scheme used in Canada.

Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz dismissed the Senate’s proposed bill as short-sighted, and reiterated Canada’s determination to implement retaliatory tariffs.
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