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CANADA - The chair of the Canadian Pork Council says the grassroots people of America don't want retaliation in response to US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, or the discrimination it creates against Canada and Mexico, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Earlier this week a World Trade Organisation panel heard the final US appeal of a November ruling that changes to US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling in 2013 failed to bring the law into compliance with US trade obligations.
If, as expected, the November ruling is upheld, Canada and Mexico will be in a position to apply to impose retaliatory tariffs on a wide rage of US imports.
Canadian Pork Council chair Rick Bergmann says no one wants it to go that far.
Rick Bergmann-Canadian Pork Council
From the folks we've spoken with, I had opportunity to go the American Farm Bureau Convention in San Diego in January and there's a great level of concern from every state that does business with Canada.
Whether it's apples, or pork, or wine, or different products, different commodities, steel. The people on the grassroots do not want retaliation and they do not want the discrimination that COOL has caused.
At this point the US government really has to get engaged in this and determine whether they want to continue to have a good trade policy with Canada or they want to continue having this protectionist attitude which isn't any way to treat a neighbor.
Mr Bergmann says the clock is ticking fast.
He says by spring the WTO will have an answer on retaliation, then throughout the summer months and into autumn tariffs will be targeted unless our friends to the south are able to come into compliance.
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