CPC Advocates in Washington for COOL Compliance11 April 2013
US - CPC’s Chair, Jean-Guy Vincent and Executive Director, Martin Rice joined Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz in Washington earlier this week to advocate on behalf of the Canadian livestock industry for the US to come into compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations regarding Country of Origin Labelling (COOL).
As a direct result of the introduction of the COOL regulations in 2008 Canadian hog farmers suffered massive economic hardship because of the reaction of US food distributors against having to deal with a multitude of different origin labels. Lost live swine and beef cattle exports since COOL became mandatory in the fall of 2008 exceeds $1 billion annually.
“The USDA should be aware that the proposed regulatory changes will leave Canada with no choice but to go back to the WTO to argue that the United States still has not come into compliance with last year’s WTO ruling and certainly increase the risk that Canada will be in a position to retaliate,” stated Mr Vincent. “We are pleased that Minister Ritz has clearly demonstrated his commitment to continue the fight with the Canadian industry on this unfair trade issue.”
“I was encouraged by the response and support we received from the US meat industry,” added Mr Vincent. “Our American colleagues are clearly worried that the proposed COOL changes will have a serious economic impact on their industry, leading to plant closures and lost jobs as well as reduced international cost competitiveness of the entire North American meat industry. This is very likely to lead to increased prices for consumers.”
The CPC and affected provincial members will be making written submissions to the USDA proposal by the deadline of 11 April.
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