CANADA - The chair of Manitoba Pork reports support in the US for resolution of US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) to avoid retaliatory tariffs is building, writes Bruce Cochrane.
In November the United States appealed the latest World Trade Organization ruling that Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling violates US international trading agreements.
In the event that appeal is lost and the issue remain unresolved, Canada and Mexico will be in a position to seek authority to impose retaliatory tariffs on imported US products.
Manitoba Pork Chair Karl Kynoch says, in discussions with US pork producers attending the Minnesota Pork Congress last week, and the Iowa Pork Congress this week, the desire for resolution of the issue is building.
Karl Kynoch - Manitoba Pork:
As Country of Origin Labelling has been getting closer to a head, the one thing in the US that was made very clear to us last week the Minnesota Pork Board, now here this week the Iowa Pork Board, the pork producers in the US want Country of Origin Labelling resolved.
They're doing what they can with their Senators, with their Congressmen, who ever they can talk to as well.
The one thing we don't want to get into is trade retaliation, having tariffs and duties and if we don't get it resolved by the end of this year that could be where we're headed.
That would actually be negative both for Canada and the US because at the end of the day the producers are the ones that are going to get hurt.
Working very closely with our member associations here, talking to some of the senate and congress staff as well, just to see what we can do, and try to get people to understand the consequences of it and what could happen, and the need to resolve it sooner rather than later, so we've got a lot of support in the hog industry in the US to try to help get that resolved.
Mr Kynoch says the majority of the US pork industry has always been opposed to COOL.
He says the big change in the US in light of the WTO rulings on the matter is that many of the rock-solid supporters of COOL are seeing the writing on the wall and recognising the issue needs to be addressed.
ThePigSite News Desk
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