Year 12 | 20 January 2020 | TO ENTER | TO REGISTER

Canada wins WTO case on U.S. country-of-origin labelling

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture, today met with livestock producers and processors at Soderglen Ranches Ltd., one of Canada's largest purebred seedstock cattle ranches. The ministers welcomed the clear victory for Canada's livestock industry represented by the WTO ruling that the U.S. Country-of-Origin Labelling (COOL) measure is inconsistent with its WTO trade obligations.

"Today's WTO decision is good news for workers and families in Canada's world-class livestock industry, and further proof that our government's commitment to defending Canadian interests in every sector of our economy gets results," said Minister Fast. "This decision recognizes the integrated nature of the North American supply chain in this vitally important industry. Removing onerous labelling measures and unfair, unnecessary costs will improve competitiveness, boost growth and help strengthen the prosperity of Canadian and American producers alike."

"Our government has always stood shoulder to shoulder with our cattle and hog producers against any unfair treatment, such as country-of-origin labelling, and today marks a clear win for our industry," said Minister Ritz. "This day has been a long time coming but, by working closely with our cattlemen and pork producers, we have paved the way for a stronger and more profitable livestock industry."

The U.S. COOL measure has forced the livestock industry in Canada and other countries that trade with the U.S. to go through a lengthy labelling and tracking system with an unnecessary paperwork burden and additional red tape. It has led to disintegration of the North American supply chain, created unpredictability in the market and imposed additional costs on producers on both sides of the border. Thirteen WTO country members have joined as third parties in the dispute. The U.S. will now be required to bring its measures into conformity with its WTO obligations. However, if the WTO decision is appealed, it could delay the outcome.

Canada and the United States enjoy the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world, with two-way trade in goods and services reaching $649 billion last year. Agriculture and agri-food bilateral trade accounted for $35 billion of this total. Reducing obstacles to trade has contributed to mutually beneficial supply chains, making both countries more competitive domestically and internationally. All told, the jobs of over eight million Americans depend on trade with Canada, and over two million Canadian jobs depend on trade with the U.S.

by S. C.
19 november 2011, World News > America