CD102: The World Trade Organization: COOL?

Do you want to know where your food comes from? Well, Congress is in the process of repealing our Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law because the World Trade Organization says our meat labels are internationally illegal. In this special episode, we take a look at the World Trade Organization: What is it? Where did it come from? How is it possible that it is determining our laws?


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Upcoming Meet-Ups

Orinda, September 2, 2015

6:30pm – 8:00pm: Rep. Mark DeSaulinier's Town Hall Meeting
Orinda Library Auditorium

8:15pm – ?: Piccolo Napoli


The Bills

H.R. 2393: Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015


S. 1844: Voluntary Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and Trade Enhancement Act of 2015


Information Presented in This Episode

Country of Origin Labels

USDA fact sheet on the country of origin labels

World Trade Organization documents related to the case the United States lost regarding our country of origin labels.

Panel Members for the country of origin label WTO case:

World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization has 161 member countries

The House of Representatives voted 288-146 to create the World Trade Organization on November 29, 1994.

The U.S. Senate voted 76-24 to create the World Trade Organization on December 1, 1994.

The World Trade Organization's creation became law when signed by President Clinton on December 8, 1994.

Additional Information

European Commission fact sheet on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

International Monetary Fund: Frequently asked questions regarding Greece

International Monetary Fund wants Greece to sell of their banks, rails, ports, utilities and airports in return for loans.

Article: Greece approves first privatisation deal under Syriza, EurActiv.com, August 19, 2015.

Article: For most workers, real wages have barely budged for decades by Drew Desilver, Pew Research Center, October 9, 2014.

Speech: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Singapore Management University, November 2012 (transcript)

Article: Courting Unions, Hillary Clinton Says She Didn't Work on Trans-Pacific Partnership by Josh Eidelson of Bloomberg, July 30, 2015.


Sound Clip Sources

Panel Discussion: GATT Treaty Negotiations, C-SPAN, April 15, 1994

Hearing: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, October 18, 1994

  • Laurence Tribe, Professor at Harvard Law School
  • Ralph Nader, founder of Public Citizen

Panel Discussion: Beyond NAFTA and Gatt, Southern Center for International Studies, April 20, 1994.

  • Arthur Dunkel
    • Former Director General of the United Nations
    • Wrote the “Dunkel Draft” in 1991, a 500 page general outline of what became the WTO 3 years later
    • “Retired” from GATT in 1993, became a “trade consultant”, and served on the board of Nestle
    • Was a registered WTO dispute panelist
  • Alejandro Orfila
    • Former Secretary General of the Organization of American States
    • 1953: Director of Information at the Organization of American States right after it was formed
    • 1962: Created a lobbying firm, specializing in the interests of U.S. firms investing in or trading with Latin America
    • 1964: Political advisor to the Director of the Adela Investment Company, the largest multinational development corporation in Latin America
    • 1975: Became Secretary General of the Organization of American States until 1984
  • James Callaghan
    • Former Prime Minister of the UK
  • Andreas von Agt
    • Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands

Press Conference: Country of Origin Labeling, U.S. Capitol, January 7, 2004

  • Former Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota
  • Tom Buis, Vice President of the National Farmers Union

Hearing: H.R. 2393 & H.R. 2685 Markup, House Rules Committee, June 9, 2015.

  • Rep. Michael Conway of Texas
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York

Music Presented in This Episode