FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (March 25, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today presented the findings of a recent econometric study showing that Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) did not have a negative impact on Canadian cattle exports to the U.S. at a U.S. House Committee on Agriculture hearing. Johnson also urged the committee to wait for the WTO to rule on COOL, as Canada and Mexico cannot retaliate if no damages are found.
“The results of the recent study done on COOL by C. Robert Taylor, Ph.D., a professor at Auburn University, refute Canadian claims of economic damage to their beef exports to America,” said Johnson. “Congress should leave COOL alone and allow the WTO process to run its course.”
Johnson noted that Canada and Mexico, the two challengers to COOL at the WTO, would need to prove economic damage as a result of COOL in order to impose the trade retaliations they have been threatening through statements and visits to the offices of American lawmakers.
“Dr. Taylor’s report found that the fed cattle price basis actually declined after COOL went into effect; that COOL had no negative impact on imports of slaughter cattle; and that COOL did not significantly affect imports of feeder cattle,” said Johnson. “Congress should not listen to the overblown rhetoric and retaliatory threats made by foreign government officials and the meatpackers.”
Johnson noted that it would be highly unconventional for Congress to intervene in the WTO process until the WTO issues its final decision.
“The WTO has stated multiple times that countries have a right to label products with their country of origin and remain in compliance with WTO,” said Johnson. “We urge Congress to allow the WTO process to run its course.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.