CANADA - The vice chair of Manitoba Pork says US farmers are not yet fully aware of the impact retaliatory tariffs in response to US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) could have on them, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Representatives of Manitoba Pork are in Minneapolis this week for the Minnesota Pork Congress, and will be in Iowa next week for the Iowa Pork Congress, as part of a trade advocacy mission.
US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling is expected to be a priority issue.
Manitoba Pork vice chair, Rick Bergmann, who is in Banff this week for the Banff Pork Seminar and will join the trade mission next week, says support in the US for a fix is building
Rick Bergmann - Manitoba Pork
I would say in general from some of the missions events that we've been at over the last while, there's a strong indication from the grassroots producers that the discrimination that they're putting against Canadian producers is wrong.
They are concerned that they're treating their neighbors this way and so they're also aware, we've made them aware that some of these problems and discrimination needs to change before retaliation comes knocking on their door.
There's an awful lot of concern. The American Meat Institute, producers, the list goes on and on. There are so many people and organizations that are wanting the fix.
Right now, it's at the USDA level and there needs to be a fix.
It's a shame that we're thinking of retaliation but it's a shame that we've been discriminated against in this way.
Mr Bergmann notes that, while opposition to COOL in the US continues to build, many US producers are unaware of the full impact retaliatory tariffs, which could come as early as the spring or summer of 2015 and impact their products if Canada and Mexico are forced to go that route to show how vulnerable they are.
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