As you may know, the United States has been engaged for several years in defending a legal challenge brought by Canada and Mexico at the WTO to country of origin labeling (“COOL”) requirements for certain meat products. The United States lost a substantive challenge to these provisions in 2013, and U.S. efforts to bring the COOL provisions into compliance with international legal obligations have also been challenged at the WTO.
The WTO Appellate Body ruled yesterday that U.S. attempts to “fix” the problems created by the COOL legislation have fallen short. As a result, absent action by Congress to repeal the offending provisions, Canada and Mexico are poised to impose retaliatory duties on a variety of U.S. products (the retaliatory duties can be imposed on any products and are not limited to U.S. meat exports).
In 2013, Canada published a list of tariff subheadings which it intends to subject to retaliatory duties (available here: http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2013/2013-06-15/html/notice-avis-eng.html#d115). Absent Congressional action on COOL, these duties are expected to take effect as soon as late summer/early fall.
If you have any questions regarding this development, please let us know.