In May, the World Trade Organization ruled that American COOL legislation violated international trade agreements. Canada then requested approval to impose over $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) also wants the U.S. to repeal COOL. They say the proposed voluntary system wouldn't fix segregation problems. However, they are also concerned about the possibility of tariffs.

"If there is 100 per cent tariff on pork or beef, it would literally stop north/south trade for a while," says Dave Solverson, president of the CCA. "[We] understand that there will be some form of labeling when this all done, but we want to make sure that it is truly voluntary and that there is no chance for segregation. The whole matter of the WTO case was on the fact that the animals were segregated before processing."

Solverson says this kind of segregation costs excess money for processors because they have to keep U.S. product separate from other countries' products, yet there is no real benefit for consumers.

"We'd sure like to get it resolved, and we'd like to get it resolved quickly," says Solverson. "Manitoba producers were probably affected [by current COOL legislation] more than any other region of Canada because of [their] access to Iowa and Nebraska."

Last week a different U.S. senator introduced an amendment that would repeal mandatory COOL laws. Ritz says the only way for the U.S. to avoid retaliation, is for the Senate to follow this lead, and repeal COOL once and for all.