ANNOUNCEMENT 29 May 2015In May 2015, the government of the United States of America announced a change in import formalities.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
A bill (H.R.2393) now under consideration in Congress would seek to bring the United States into compliance with its obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) with respect to country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for certain agricultural commodities. In 2008 Canada and Mexico challenged in the WTO the COOL provisions in the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended by the 2008 Farm Bill. These include the obligation to inform consumers at the retail level of the country of origin in respect of covered commodities, including beef and pork. The eligibility for a designation of a covered commodity as exclusively having a U.S. origin can only be derived from an animal that was exclusively born, raised and slaughtered in the United States. The dispute-settlement panels generally found in favor of the petitioners. The Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015 would amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork, and chicken. On May 29, 2015 the Committee on Agriculture in the House of Representatives approved the bill; the full House then approved the bill on June 10, 2015. It still awaits action in the Senate.