(DEC. 8, 2015)


Contact: Kent Wright, 509-435-3590


WASHINGTON STATE (DEC. 8, 2015) – Northwest Farmers Union (NWFU) and President Kent Wright announced that they did not agree with the finding by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law warrants retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico in the sum of $1.01 billion, and state that a voluntary COOl passage is the best option moving forward to thwart the WTO decision.


“The WTO process continues to undermine the ability for American consumers to know the origin of their food and the latest ruling on COOL highlights that work,” said Wright. “We will be speaking with our members of Congress and advising them that we still want COOL and that a voluntary COOL program is the best way moving forward to stay complicit with the WTO ruling and also having a strong option for labeling our food.”


The WTO ruled that Canada and Mexico had the ability to impose $1.01 billion in retaliatory tariffs against the United States. A potential option that has received a thumbs up from Canada, several multinational meatpackers and the U.S. Trade Representative is a voluntary COOL.


“The U.S. meat export is in a highly vulnerable state right now and Congress needs to act quickly in order to protect the American producer and consumer by passing voluntary COOL, which will help the U.S. to avoid the $1.01 billion in retaliatory tariffs approved by the WTO,” said Wright. “The COOL label is very important and we believe our producers and consumers have the right to know where our food comes from.”


Northwest Farmers Union is working to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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