A federal court’s refusal of a motion for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final rule on country- of-origin labeling (COOL) has disappointed the Canadian Pork Council (CPC).
“The court’s denial of our request for a preliminary injunction is disappointing, but we look forward to the arguments presented to the court about why the court should vacate this rule,” states CPC’s Chair Jean- Guy Vincent. “Based on our consultations and analysis by our legal advisors, the decision appears to be badly flawed. It is being recommended to us that we appeal the decision.”
This legal challenge represents a third channel by which the CPC is seeking a resolution to COOL and its discrimination against Canadian livestock exports. The CPC will continue to work closely with the Canadian government to pursue a WTO compliance panel and with producers affected by COOL that could lead to retaliatory tariffs if the revised U.S. rule is not compliant with U.S. WTO obligations. Secondly, CPC will continue to look for the U.S. Congress to make a legislative change that would remove the discriminatory impact of COOL.
On July 8, a legal challenge was filed with the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia by members of the U.S. and Canadian meat industry to stay USDA’s COOL rule. The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), along with several other U.S. and Mexican livestock and meat organizations, are co-plaintiffs in this action.
Plaintiffs believe that a legislative change is required for the United States to come into compliance with its WTO obligations on COOL. “The U.S. Congress missed an opportunity to implement a legislative change to COOL in the farm bill deliberations,” Vincent adds. “CPC has partnered with its U.S. counterparts in the legal challenge to resolve this dispute as legislative options for the United States to come into compliance with its WTO obligations become fewer.”