Manitoba Pork responds to V-COOL

Mar 12, 2024

Manitoba Pork responded to the finalized rule, announced by United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, mandating that all meat products sold with a “Product of the U.S.A.” label be derived from animals raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S. The new policy, commonly known as voluntary country of original labelling (V-COOL), will come into effect by January 1, 2026.

“Three million pigs are exported to the United States from Manitoba every year, in addition to the over $400 million worth of Manitoba pork products,” said Manitoba Pork chair Rick Préjet. “These changes, like the original mandatory policy successfully challenged at the World Trade Organization, will significantly impact trade in the integrated Canada/U.S. market, and we are extremely disappointed that the final rule did not consider the concerns expressed by Canada.”

The original law, which enforced mandatory country of origin labelling, was repealed by the United States Congress in 2015 following a 2014 ruling by the WTO that found the labelling regulations discriminated against Canada and Mexico. Canada and Mexico were granted the authority to impose retaliatory tariffs if the COOL was not removed. 

“Despite being labelled as “voluntary”, Manitoba Pork is concerned that the same discrimination will occur when these new regulations are implemented,” Préjet added. “We call on Canada to consider all potential options to correct the protectionist nature of these proposed regulations, and we ask the Government of Manitoba to support a strong response to protect our market access.”

Source : Manitoba Pork
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