Ottawa - The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is pleased the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body Panel has found the May 23, 2013, revisions to the United States - Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) rules have increased discrimination against Canadian livestock exports.
On May 18, the WTO released its ruling confirming the compliance panels' conclusions that the amended U.S.-COOL rules were not in compliance with the WTO's earlier rulings in 2011, 2012 and again in 2014. With the hearings and appeals, this makes it the fourth time the WTO has confirmed that COOL discriminates against livestock exports from Canada and Mexico.
"The U.S. has now lost four times at the WTO and it has no other appeal options," stated CPC chair Rick Bergmann at a press event in Ottawa today with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Gerry Ritz, the Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, and representatives from the Canadian Cattleman's Association (CCA) "It is high time that the illegal impact of COOL on Canada's exported livestock is recognized by Congress and that they fix the legislation."
The CPC estimates the accumulated costs and damage to Canadian hog producers since 2009 when the challenge began is nearly $3 billion because of price declines, lost sales and additional cost burdens.
CPC Past Chair Jean-Guy Vincent," The COOL legislation must be changed. Only by doing this will the U.S. avoid forcing Canada to pursue its rights to retaliate against U.S. exports to Canada."
The Government of Canada has been very helpful during the more than five years CPC has been engaged in this crucial COOL trade dispute. Warnings by Ministers Ritz and Fast, to the U.S. that failure to change the COOL legislation to remove discrimination and eliminate the need to segregate Canadian animals would result in retaliation against U.S. exports to Canada. This second Appellate Body decision enables Canada and Mexico to implement WTO-authorized trade retaliation later this year. Imports from U.S that could be blocked. include live cattle and hogs; fresh, chilled or frozen beef or pork; bacon, some cheeses, fresh fruits and processed meats; rice; maple syrup; pasta; tomato ketchup; certain sugars; and other non-food items.
The CPC has coordinated with the Government of Canada and the CCA to remove the inequities of the U.S. COOL regime which became mandatory in 2008.
The CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations, the organization's purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.