CANADA - Canada's Minister of International Trade Canada, Edward Fast, and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz have issued a statement with Mexico's Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, and Secretary of Agriculture, Enrique Martínez y Martínez, to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over authorization to impose over $3 billion in retaliatory measures against US exports to Canada.
Canada’s request for authorization to retaliate will be considered by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on June 17, 2015.
On May 18, 2015, the WTO ruled for the fourth time against the US country of original labelling (COOL) requirements, reaffirming Canada’s long-standing position that these measures violate the US’s international trade obligations and discriminate against Canadian cattle and hogs.
The decision was final and without the possibility of further appeal.
With the final WTO decision, the Canadian government once again calls on the United States to immediately repeal the COOL measures on beef and pork to meet its trade obligations or face retaliation.
Since the implementation of the US COOL requirements in 2008, producers and processors on both sides of the border have been harmed by this unnecessary trade barrier.
Damages to the Canadian livestock industry are estimated to be more than $3 billion annually, and Canada will ask the WTO for authority to impose retaliation measures up to that amount. Once WTO authorization is received, Canada will choose how and when to retaliate.
Mexico officials stated that they would be seeking WTO authorization to impose a suspension of benefits against the United States for $653 million US dollars.
The officials from Canada and Mexico stated: "The governments of Mexico and Canada will continue to work closely together to address this important trade dispute with the United States, in order to defend our farmers and maintain jobs and economic prosperity throughout North America."
The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) stated that it fully supports the announcement that Canada will seek World Trade Organization (WTO) authorization to impose over $3 billion in retaliatory measures against US exports to Canada.
“I am extremely pleased that the Ministers have moved to seek WTO authorization to impose
retaliatory measure against US exports to Canada,” said CPC’s Chair Rick Bergmann.
“The pork industry has been engaged in this crucial COOL trade dispute for over five years that included four WTO decisions confirming that COOL discriminates against livestock exports from Canada and Mexico and nearly $3 billion dollars lost when calculating the accumulated cost and
damage because of price declines and lost sales.”
ThePigSite News Desk