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Certain Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Requirements (Mexico)

Key Facts
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On December 17, 2008, Mexico requested consultations regarding U.S. mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) provisions.  Mexico requested supplemental consultations with the United States regarding this matter on May 7, 2009.  Mexico challenges the COOL provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended by the Farm, Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill), and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act, 2008 (2008 Farm Bill), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) Interim Final Rule on COOL published on August 1, 2008 and on August 28, 2008, respectively, the USDA Final Rule on COOL published on January 15, 2009, and a February 20, 2009 letter issued by the Secretary of Agriculture.  These provisions relate to an obligation to inform consumers at the retail level of the country of origin of covered commodities, including beef and pork.

Mexico alleges that the U.S. measures are inconsistent with the GATT 1994, Articles III:4, IX:2, IX:4, and X:3(a), the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, Articles 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 12.1, and 12.3, or, in the alternative, the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Articles 2, 5, and 7, and the Agreement on Rules of Origin, Articles 2(b), 2(c), 2(d), and 2(e).  Additionally, Mexico asserts that these violations nullify or impair the benefits accruing to Mexico under those Agreements, and further appear to nullify or impair the benefits accruing to Mexico within the meaning of the GATT 1994, Article XXIII:1(b). 

Consultations were held on February 27, 2009, and supplemental consultations were held on June 5, 2009.  On October 9, 2009, Mexico requested the establishment of a panel in this dispute, and November 19, 2009.the DSB established a single panel to examine both this dispute and Canada’s dispute regarding COOL (see WT/DS384).

 

Panel Proceedings
Brief DateBrief Description
01/14/2011U.S. Comments on the Responses of Canada and Mexico to the Questions from the Panel following the Second Panel Meeting
01/06/2011U.S. Response to the Questions of the Panel following the Second Panel Meeting
12/21/2010Executive Summary of the U.S. Oral Statement at the Second Meeting with the Panel
11/18/2010Executive Summary of the Second Written Submission of the United States
10/29/2010Second Written Submission of the United States
10/04/2010Executive Summary of the Oral Statement of the United States at the First Meeting with the Panel
10/04/2010U.S. Response to the Questions of the Panel following the First Panel Meeting
09/14/2010Oral Statement of the United States at the First Meeting with the Panel
08/24/2010Executive Summary of the First Written Submission of the United States
08/04/2010First Written Submission of the United States (pdf)
Appeal Proceedings
Brief DateBrief Description
05/02/2012U.S. Opening Statement at the Oral Hearing
04/10/2012Appellee Submission of the United States
03/23/2012Appellant Submission of the United States
Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by Mexico
Brief DateBrief Description
03/21/2014U.S. Comments on Responses to Panel’s Questions
03/07/2014Responses of the United States to the Questions Posed by the Panels
02/19/2014U.S. Closing Statement at the Oral Hearing
02/18/2014U.S. Opening Statement at the Oral Hearing
01/15/2014The Second Written Submission of the United States
11/26/2013The First Written Submission of the United States