In the weeks ahead, students and practitioners of food labeling will be studying the WTO Panel’s decision on the consolidated cases WT/DS 384 (Canada) and WT/DS 386 (Mexico).

In 2008, Canada and Mexico independently requested consultations with the United States, pursuant to Articles 1 and 4 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), Article XXII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994), Article 14 of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), Article 11 of the Agreement of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and Article 7 of the Agreement on Rules of Origin, with respect to US Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules.

We post five documents which will assist in reviewing this decision.

74 FR 2658, Country of Origin Labeling Rule, Federal Register, January 15, 2009.

The “Vilsack Letter” of February 20, 2009.

Annex-A, Panel Report, Summary of Original Briefs of the Parties.

Panel Report, pp. 214A, 214B, extracted from full document.

World Trade Organization, United States – Certain Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) Requirements, Reports of the Panel, WT/DS384/R, WT/DS386/R, 18 November 2011.

We note for our readers the distinction in spelling between US English (labeling) and UK English (labelling).