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WTO Appellate Body Begins Hearings on U.S. Compliance in COOL Dispute

(Bridges)

The dispute on the U.S.’ country-of-origin labelling (COOL) policy for livestock and meat products returned to the WTO this week, with the launch of Appellate Body hearings to review if Washington’s revisions to the measure are enough to comply with WTO rules.

The hearings were held on Monday and Tuesday at the global trade body’s Geneva headquarters and were open to public viewing. They also marked the latest stage in a nearly 7-year dispute launched by Mexico and Canada against the COOL requirements.

Under the original U.S. policy, producers were required to inform consumers of meat’s country of origin via a label on the sale package. Washington lost at the panel and Appellate Body stages, with the latter confirming that COOL’s design put foreign products at a disadvantage by making the processing of imported livestock prohibitively costly. Click here to read more.