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NMPF Urges Trade-Compliant Approach to New USDA Country of Origin Labeling Rule

June 8, 2023

NMPF encouraged the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service office to ensure that a newly proposed Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule does not result in Mexican and Canadian retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. dairy industry in comments filed May 11 on the proposal.

The proposed rule would allow the voluntary use of “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA,” only if the meat, poultry and egg products are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. Prior U.S. mandatory country of origin rules on beef and pork were found to violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, resulting in WTO-authorized tariff retaliation rights that included U.S. dairy exports to Mexico and Canada. While USDA’s proposed rule would be voluntary, NMPF made clear it must be written in a way that ensures compliance with WTO and U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement commitments.

NMPF warned that should the rule undermine imports to the United States, both Mexico and Canada could impose retaliatory tariffs that would significantly harm American dairy farmers and producers.