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Unified Canadian Stance on Need for Resolution of US COOL

06 November 2013

CANADA - A resolution to the Country of Origin Labelling dispute with between Canada and the US is within sight according to the Canadian Pork Council.

The pork council, along with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, was represented in a Canadian delegation led by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz and which included three provincial agriculture ministers – Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart, and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Verlyn Olson – who met with US meat industry leaders at the annual North American Meat Association (NAMA) Outlook Conference in Chicago.

The CPC continues to work closely with the Government of Canada in a WTO dispute process which began in 2009 and which in 2012 found the US to be out of compliance with its international obligations in how it administers country-of-origin labelling.

Minister Ritz, in his remarks to US industry leaders in Chicago, left no doubt that Canada is prepared, if necessary, to impose retaliatory tariffs on US exports to Canada if the United States fails to come into compliance with its WTO obligations on COOL.

"However, it is our view that a resolution to the COOL issue is available now through the Farm Bill currently being debated in the US Congress and the CPC remains hopeful that the United States, rather than the WTO, will take the lead to resolve this issue and to restore the open border conditions which history shows have been mutually advantageous in positioning the North American livestock and meat industry to compete most favourably in the world meat market," Minister Ritz said.

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