The WTO just ruled that America’s Country Of Origin Labeling regulation, which requires meat producers to indicate what nation packaged meat comes from, violates global trade standards. The ruling cannot be appealed.
Having a body of non-elected bureaucrats override U.S. regulations has been a major concern of many opposing the TPP. Obama tried to allay those concerns in a recent speech about global trade deals with Pacific Rim and European countries:
“Critics warn that parts of this deal would undermine American regulation – food safety, worker safety, even financial regulations. They’re making this stuff up. This is just not true. No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws.”
So much for that…
Now, the U.S. will have to stop enforcing the labeling rules or face tariffs or other trade sanctions.
While this regulation’s demise may not be a threat to food safety, it illustrates how easily a poorly-negotiated trade agreement can lead to the undermining of U.S. regulations. The next overridden rule may not be as superficial.