Delays in Resolution of US COOL04 September 2013
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CANADA - The general manager of Manitoba Pork Council suggests resolution of the dispute over US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling should not be as difficult as it has been, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Last month the government of Canada requested the establishment of a World Trade Organization compliance panel to determine whether changes to U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling bring the United States into compliance with its international trade obligations.
Manitoba Pork Council general manager Andrew Dickson expects the WTO to call a compliance panel sometime in September or October.
Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork Council:
It will convene very quickly and they will start a process of hearing from the different parties and it will be essentially Canada, US and Mexico and the governments will make their positions clear as to how they view what's happening.
The US of course will defend its position, Mexico and Canada will point out to the panel that discrimination is still occurring in the market place.
If anything it's gotten worse and the US has not made any serious attempt to come into compliance.
Then the panel's job is essentially to rule as to whether the US is in compliance or not.
The sad thing is that this could all be resolved with some small changes in wording both in the legislation and the regulations and the three governments could get back into harmony again.
Canada and Mexico and the United States have one of the largest trading relationships in the world by far and this is a small dispute that should be easily resolved.
It's really unfortunate we have to go to meet in halls in Geneva and try to get some resolution on this thing.
For the life of me I can't understand why our politicians at the three levels can't get this matter resolved.
Dickson hopes, by spring, Canada will be in a position to start talking about retaliatory trade action against the United States.
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