Reuters — The United States has lost its appeal against a World Trade Organization ruling ordering it to bring its meat labeling laws into line with global trade rules, according to a government official familiar with the dispute.
In 2011, Canada and Mexico won a WTO ruling that said the U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules illegally discriminated against imported meat.
The U.S. lost a subsequent appeal and was instructed to comply with international rules. The U.S. government made changes to the COOL rule in 2013, but last October a WTO compliance panel said it had not done so, paving the way for Canada and Mexico to demand the right to impose trade sanctions.
The U.S. then appealed that decision in November, but the government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the WTO had ruled in favour of Canada and Mexico.
A formal WTO announcement is due Monday.
Canada has said the U.S. rules, which make retailers list the country of origin on meat, cost its farmers and processors about $1 billion a year in lost sales and lower prices.
— Reporting for Reuters by Dave Graham in Mexico City.