Canadian ag leaders travel to US to urge end to COOL
Canadian agriculture minister reaffirms that country will not be afraid to retaliate if US country of origin labeling laws are not changed
Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is leading an industry delegation to Washington, D.C., to reinforce Canada's position on United States country of origin labeling (COOL) laws to key industry coalitions and members of the newly elected U.S. House and Senate.
The delegation includes members from the Canadian Pork Council, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, and the Canadian Meat Council.
According to Ritz, COOL continues to significantly disrupt the North American supply chain, create unpredictability in the market, and impose additional costs on producers on both sides of the border.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2014 released its Compliance Panel report confirming that the U.S. COOL requirements for beef and pork are a breach of international obligations.
Canada, which has threatened retaliatory action if changes to the COOL law is not made, will continue to fully assert its rights to achieve a fair resolution, including seeking authorization to implement retaliatory measures on U.S. agricultural and non-agricultural products if and as necessary, Ritz said.
"Canada continues to call upon the U.S. to comply with the WTO ruling and eliminate COOL's discriminatory treatment against Canadian hogs and cattle. Our government will always stand with our farmers and ranchers, and we will not shy away from taking whatever steps may be necessary, including retaliation, to achieve a fair resolution."
Despite being urged to change the COOL laws by the National Pork Producers Council and the North American Meat Institute, the U.S. has appealed the WTO ruling on COOL.