Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Thursday 08/21/14

Report: U.S. Lost WTO Ruling

A report came out Thursday claiming that the U.S. lost the Country of Origin ruling in the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office and U.S. Department of Agriculture declined to confirm or deny the report.

The Wall Street Journal quoted two unnamed sources Thursday citing that the U.S. had lost the WTO case to Canada and Mexico over Country of Origin Labeling.

Roger Johnson, president of National Farmers Union released the following statement criticizing the report as "unsourced and unsubstantiated rumors" and pointed out that the WTO report has not been seen by the public.

“There is often a tendency for these things to leak out; and they are sometimes accurate and sometimes not accurate," Johnson said. "But what they almost always do is tell a small, biased, one-sided part of the story. Speculation, at this point, is not only meaningless, but also irresponsible.

The Wall Street Journal piece stated Canadian officials are prepared to initiate retaliatory trade measures against the U.S. Johnson also criticized such comments.

“As such, any talks of trade retaliation is fear mongering and grossly pre-mature," he said. "We’ve been hearing these stories from some of our good friends in Canada for a long time, and the U.S. has always said it will comply with WTO rules. In fact, the rules around which these rumors are now based were written precisely to conform with the most recent WTO rulings, so this will surely figure into the final decision.”

Officials from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. have received copies of the ruling, but it is not expected to be made public until later this year.

USDA crafted a new rule on Country of Origin Labeling last year after Canada and Mexico had won an earlier ruling against the U.S.

A spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office stated in an email to DTN that "a compliance panel report will be circulated to WTO members and made public once finalized and translated, which is expected to occur in the second half of 2014."

Anyone wanting to add some clarity to the topic, please feel free to send me a copy of the WTO report.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 8:13PM CDT 08/21/14 by Chris Clayton
Comments (1)
Chris: Iâ?™ve been following this story as you have for some time now. Iâ?™m still looking for someone to explain to me why itâ?™s not okay for consumers in the USA to know where the things they buy in the grocery store come from? And why are there livestock organizations that donâ?™t want COOL in effect? Can you help me understand this a little more clearly?
Posted by Chad Smith at 4:20PM CDT 08/24/14
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