On Dec. 18 the repeal of mandatory country-of-origin labeling for beef and pork (muscle cuts and ground) was enacted into law. Following the repeal of the COOL requirements the Agriculture Department announced that, effective immediately, it is not enforcing the COOL regulations for muscle cut and ground beef and pork, as outlined in the January 2009 and May 2013 final rules.
On Dec. 21 the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization granted final authorization for retaliatory tariffs by Canada ($780 million) and Mexico ($227.7 million) against the U.S.in the COOL labeling case. In a joint statement officials from the two nations said that they will monitor USDA actions to repeal the COOL regulations for beef and pork. While not imposing retaliatory tariffs at this time, Canada and Mexico are maintaining the threat of retaliation until the COOL rules are changed.