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December 27, 2015

Land Lenders Talk Country-of-Origin-Labeling (a.k.a., COOL Talk)

It’s not often that two sides of a trade issue fall on the same side of that issue, but with country-of-origin-labeling or COOL—it’s so. The state of agreement between all parties has likely helped to end one such issue. In December, COOL trade legislation that required Canadian and Mexican beef and pork to be labeled was repealed, giving both U.S. and Canadian producers and processors something to cheer about.

Leading up to the repeal, the World Trade Organization, or WTO, ruled that COOL legislation cost the Canadian red meat industry $1 billion in annual trade damage alone. Canadian producers maintained the legislation created gross inequalities as U.S. processors shied away from buying Canadian meat because the processors had to pay more to set Canadian meat apart for labeling. The WTO also ruled that COOL violated international trade rules.

Canada and Mexico were threatening to impose over $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. if COOL legislation was not repealed. Reports of U.S. processing plants in need of animals only added fuel to the fire. Congress repealed the COOL legislation as part of an Omnibus bill, to the approval of just about everyone involved. One Canadian hog producer maintained that he felt U.S. price offers were already improving, according to reports.

It’s not the first time that the agriculture industry has worked through various ups and downs; nor will it be the last. AgAmerica Lending is there for U.S. farmers and ranchers through good times and tough alike. We help agribusinesses to grow and thrive with our low-interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year line of credit.

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