American Society of International Law

The WTO Ruling on U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (“COOL”)

Introduction

The WTO dispute on country of origin labeling (“COOL”) requirements for imported livestock is the latest in a series of cases dealing with the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (“TBT Agreement”). The Appellate Body Report was circulated on June 29, 2012. This case pitted U.S. cattlemen against large packers and food processors and raised questions about the significance of country of origin labeling when it comes to integrated and international supply chains. This Insight provides an overview of the key issues addressed by the Panel and the Appellate Body (“AB”).

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