International Rules Must be Followed for World Trade to Work Properly

CANADA - The general manager of Manitoba Pork Council warns, if the United States wants world trade to work properly, it needs to realise that all of the participants including themselves have to abide by a certain set of rule, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 28 May 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week, in response to a World Trade Organization order to bring Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling into compliance with its international trade obligations, the United States issued a final rule amending labelling provisions for muscle cut covered commodities to require the origin designation to indicate where each production step occurred and to remove the allowance for commingling opening the door for Canada and Mexico to apply to the WTO for authority to impose retaliatory tariffs on imported US products.

Manitoba Pork Council general manager Andrew Dickson says the Canadian cattle and hog industries have lost over a billion dollars a year since the implementation of M-COOL and changes to the legislation will intensify those losses.

Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork Council

The next step of course is that Canada and Mexico have indicated very clearly that they're going to go back to the World Trade Organization to get a ruling on whether the US is in compliance and, if not, then Canada and Mexico are going to ask for authority to apply retaliatory action on imports of American products.

The sad thing is we really don't want to go to the retaliatory phase because that essentially says the US is not prepared to make any changes in its legislation which leaves us in a very awkward situation.

Our hope is that the US will recognise that if it wants world trade to work properly that all the participants have to abide by a certain set of rules, including themselves.

Mr Dickson notes the major farm organizations, processors and retailers in the US have been opposed to this legislation and suggests the US agriculture secretary has missed a golden opportunity to show leadership in this matter.

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