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CANADA - The chair of Manitoba Pork is hopeful the US will respond to the latest WTO ruling by eliminating Country of Origin Labelling as we know it, writes Bruce Cochrane.
The World Trade Organization upheld a series of previous rulings that Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling discriminates against imported Canadian and Mexican livestock in violation of its international trade obligations, opening the door for Canada and Mexico to apply to impose retaliatory tariffs on a range of imported US products.
George Matheson, the chair of Manitoba Pork, says, generally speaking, no one is in favour of retaliation so the hope is the US changes the legislation, COOL as we know it is eliminated and we can have free trade and get on with business.
George Matheson-Manitoba Pork
We feel the best outcome would be if the US decided to repeal their legislation and made changes to COOL that would satisfy Canadian and Mexican and ultimately WTO interests, perhaps it becoming voluntary.
We do have the option now of placing trade tariffs on US products but I think most people would feel that COOL would still be in place, everyone would lose.
It's quite likely red meats would be one of the items tariffed and if pork is included you would penalise the product on which your own price is based.
Our price is based on the US pork market so ultimately we're hoping that Congress will change the wording in the legislation so that tariffs will not be put in place on US imports.
Matheson says yesterday's ruling was not a surprise and red meat producers in both Canada and the US are delighted with the outcome.
TheMeatSite News Desk