Statement by Ministers Fast and Ritz on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling

August 19, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today issued the following statement on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL):

“Following through on its commitment to stand up for Canadian livestock producers by pursuing all options available to resolve this dispute, our government requested today the establishment of a World Trade Organization compliance panel on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling.

“We had hoped to avoid having to again resort to the WTO to resolve this matter. However, despite consistent rulings by the WTO, the U.S. government continues its unfair trade practices, which are severely damaging to Canadian industry and jobs.

“Canada considers that the United States has failed to bring its COOL measure into conformity with its WTO obligations. We believe that the recent amendments to the COOL measure will further hinder the ability of Canadian cattle and hog producers to freely compete in the U.S. market.

“Our government, with the full support and active engagement of the Canadian industry, will continue to fight against this unfair treatment, which is also hurting U.S. industry and consumers. We continue to consult with stakeholders as we pursue a fair resolution of this issue. To respect Canada’s WTO obligations, our government will not act on retaliatory measures until the WTO authorizes us to do so.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Jeff English
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
613-773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
613-773-7972