Canada Set to Retaliate over US COOL Stance24 May 2013
CANADA - The Canadian Government is set to take retaliatory action against the US over its failure to meet the obligations required by the World Trade Organization over the implementation of Country of Origin Labelling.
Yesterday, 23 May, was the deadline for the United States to comply with the World Trade Organization’s ruling on Country of Origin Labelling (COOL), which determined that the measure discriminated against foreign livestock and was inconsistent with the United States’ WTO trade obligations.
Canada first brought this issue to the WTO in 2008. Since then, the federal ministers of international trade and agriculture have raised Canada’s concerns about COOL with their counterparts in the United States at every possible opportunity.
Canadian government officials at all levels have also met with their American counterparts to work toward a resolution.
The Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Ed Fast, and the Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz, said in a statement: “Canada is extremely disappointed with the regulatory changes put forward by the United States today with respect to COOL.
“These changes will not bring the United States into compliance with its WTO obligations. These changes will increase discrimination against Canadian cattle and hogs and increase damages to industry on both sides of the border.
“Canada will consider all options at its disposal, including, if necessary, the use of retaliatory measures.
“We will continue to stand with Canadian cattle and hog producers against these unfair measures and we will not stop until we succeed.”
The Canadian authorities said that COOL is a mandatory US measure that applied a burdensome labelling and tracking system throughout the livestock and meat supply chains in the United States. COOL led to the disintegration of the North American supply chain, created unpredictability in the market and imposed additional costs for producers on both sides of the border.
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