Statement from ministers Freeland and MacAulay on WTO ruling on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling

December 7, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today issued the following statement on the United States’ Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) policy:

“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“We are pleased that on June 10, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives repealed COOL for beef and pork.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.”

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