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Rules for US-Canadian Pork Production Need Harmonising

12 July 2012, at 8:48am

US - The US based National Pork Producers Council is calling for greater harmonization of rules governing the U.S. and Canadian pork industries in several areas, including labelling, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Last month the World Trade Organization Appellate Body upheld a November 2011 Dispute Settlement Panel ruling that US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling discriminates against imported livestock and is inconsistent with US trade obligations.

National Pork Producers Council vice-president and council for international affairs Nick Giordano says, while the NPPC will be urging the U.S. government to come into compliance with the WTO ruling, it's looking at labelling as just part of the harmonisation of meat and livestock policies in North America.

Nick Giordano-National Pork Producers Council

We'd like to see further harmonization and working together of the governments on drug approvals.

We'd like to see harmonisation and closer working together on animal health status.

We look at producer support.

There's been a long standing issue between the United States and Canada about the level of support to hog producers in Canada both through federal programs and provincial programmes.

There's a long history of countervailing duty and other trade cases being filed in the United States to try and offset the injurious impact of these programmes.

We're going to be at the front of the line leading the charge to urge the United States to come into conformity with the WTO decision on labelling.

Having said that we're going to continue to remind people that labelling is just one part of the overall relationship on hogs and pork in North America.

Giordano says what the NPPC would like to see sooner than later is more harmony and equivalence in the North American market on both laws and practices.

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