CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has joined forces with the Canadian government and livestock industry partners to find a solution to the country-of-origin labelling (COOL) dispute with the US.
CPC First Vice-Chair, Rick Bergmann and executive director Martin Rice joined officials from the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association at the 2015 convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), where they met with representatives of state organizations from across the United States.
"I was encouraged to see that there is widespread support within US agriculture that COOL needs to comply with World Trade Organization rules,” said Mr Bergmann, a pork producer from Steinbach, Manitoba.
It is increasingly understood that legislative changes to the COOL law will be required if, as expected, the US loses the current appeal of a WTO compliance panel decision which favoured Canada and Mexico in the international trade dispute that began in 2008. That decision is expected this spring.
CPC chair, Jean-Guy Vincent said: “Retaliation will occur if all other options to resolve the dispute fail. However, I am hopeful that the COOL dispute will be resolved before retaliatory tariffs have to be implemented.”
Mr Bergmann added: “Canadian pork producers are not looking for new tariffs; they want to return to the free trade conditions that existed prior to mandatory COOL and which operated very much to the benefit of the livestock and meat industries in both the United States and Canada.”
Canadian representatives took the opportunity at the meetings in San Diego, California, to point out that the COOL dispute centres exclusively on red meat and its effect on livestock and not on other covered commodities such as fruits and vegetables.
TheMeatSite News Desk