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Canadian Pork Council in COOL Talks in US

25 November 2013

US - Canadian Pork Council’s Chair, Jean-Guy Vincent and Executive Director, Martin Rice joined Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz in Washington last week to advocate on behalf of the Canadian livestock industry for the US to come into compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations regarding Country of Origin Labelling (COOL).

"The burdensome COOL requirements are significantly damaging trade in North American livestock and have been determined by a WTO panel are contrary to the international trade obligations of the United States," stated CPC’s Chair Jean-Guy Vincent. "Maintaining rules that cause discrimination against Canadian and Mexican livestock unnecessarily jeopardize US exports."

"The most effective solution remains an amendment to the Farm Bill that repeals mandatory COOL for beef and pork which would provide the requisite WTO compliance by eliminating discrimination against Canadian cattle and hogs," added Mr Vincent.

Canada’s and Mexico’s WTO challenges have resulted in confirmation by the WTO of the discriminatory effects of COOL on Canadian cattle and hogs.

As a direct result of the introduction of the COOL regulations in 2008 Canadian hog farmers suffered massive economic hardship because of the reaction of US food distributors against having to deal with a multitude of different origin labels. The value of lost live swine and beef cattle exports since COOL became mandatory in the fall of 2008 exceeds $1 billion annually.

Canada will consider all legal options, including, if necessary, the use of retaliatory trade restrictions against US products. Canada and Mexico are America’s two largest export markets with total exports in 2012 valued at $292 billion and $216 billion, respectively.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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