Canada’s beef and pork sectors welcomed Monday’s long awaited decision by a World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) Arbitration panel that has determined that Canadian livestock producers have suffered annual damages in the amount of $1.055 billion CAD.
U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) has been in effect since 2008.
According to a joint news release from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Canadian Pork Council and the Canadian Meat Council, cumulative losses for the Canadian beef and pork sectors have been staggering.
At every step of the process, the WTO has repeatedly found that the U.S. is in breach of its WTO obligations. The only revision the U.S. has made, in 2013, increased the negative impact on Canadian farmers and meat processors, according to the statement.
Canadian livestock producers and meat processors expect the U.S. to do nothing less than repeal COOL or face the immediate imposition of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods to the same extent as the damage we have endured.
In other reaction, International Trade Minister Chystria Freeland, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister, Lawrence Lawrence MacAulay, issued the following statement.
“Country of origin labelling harms Canadian and Mexican livestock producers as well as U.S. processors and producers. It also disrupts the highly integrated North American meat industry supply chain.
“Since 2011, the World Trade Organization [WTO] has repeatedly ruled that COOL discriminates against Canadian and Mexican cattle and hogs and violates the trade obligations of the United States.
“The Government of Canada has made every effort to convince the United States to comply with its international trade obligations.
“We are pleased that on June 10, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives repealed COOL for beef and pork. The Government of Canada has urged the U.S. Senate to do the same, but it has not yet done so.
“Today, the WTO arbitrator ruled that Canada can impose retaliatory surtaxes on $1.054 billion of U.S. exports to Canada as a result of the economic harm caused by the U.S. COOL policy, once final WTO authorization is obtained. The United States cannot appeal the ruling.
“If the U.S. Senate does not take immediate action to repeal COOL for beef and pork, Canada will quickly take steps to retaliate.
“Canada continues to work with our partners in the United States, and in the U.S. Senate, to urge the full repeal of the discriminatory COOL policy for beef and pork.”