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US Urged to Avoid Trade War by Addressing M-COOL

by 5m Editor
8 July 2013, at 8:41am

US & CANADA - The chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board remains hopeful the United States will avoid a trade war with Canada and Mexico by addressing concerns over Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling legislation, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In May, in response to a World Trade Organization order to bring Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling into compliance with its international trading obligations, the United States added new labelling requirements for muscle cut covered commodities and prohibited the mixing of product from different countries.

Saskatchewan Pork Development Board chair Florian Possberg says the fix will actually make it more difficult for US processors to deal with foreign born livestock.

Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

The Americans do have a period of grace time to fix this legislation.

Our minister has made it perfectly clear that the ruling is that this Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling is illegal.

We have stated that we will retaliate.

We think this legislation is costing our industry here in Canada upwards of a billion dollars a year and it is our legal right to put retaliatory tariffs on products coming from the US.

None of us want to go there.

We don't want to get into a trade war or disputes with our American friends and counterparts but, at the end of the day, we as Canadians don't want to put up with illegal discriminatory legislation either so we are hoping the Americans will in fact come up with changes that will bring them into compliance and eliminate the discrimination against our livestock.

Mr Possberg says logic tells us the US needs to fix this legislation but for some reason they've had challenges coming up with a suitable solution.