US, Canadian Pork Industry Officials Discuss M-COOL at Expo

US & CANADA - The general manager of Manitoba Pork says there's a growing recognition in the US of the need to resolve Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, Bruce Cochrane writes.
calendar icon 13 June 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

The World Trade Organization is expected to release its ruling in late July or early August on whether changes made to Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling in May 2013 brought the United States into compliance with its international treaty obligations.

Last week representatives of Manitoba Pork travelled to World Pork Expo in Des Moines to discuss next steps in the litigation process.

Manitoba Pork general manager Andrew Dickson says Canada is expected to win which will open the door to retaliatory tariffs on imported US products.

Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork

We wanted to emphasize to them that, can we not try to get round that by looking at some alternatives in terms of a solution to COOL.

It became very clear that everybody is waiting to see what the panel will do before taking any further action.

We know there's a growing groundswell in basic opinion amongst industry and politicians that something needs to be done to address the matter.

We can't expect the US government to do something because essentially this is legislation passed by Congress so we need to move forward in terms of looking at some alternative legislative vehicles to get some amendments in place.

We also wanted to point out that we need to get COOL out of the way so that we can get back to our normal trading patterns but more importantly we have other issues that we need to deal with like how are we going to coordinate a North American response to a disease outbreak.

This PEDv outbreak has illustrated that something that happens in the United States will have a direct impact on producers here in Canada, not in just a theoretical sense but actually in practical terms.

We're having to wash trailers and stuff like this that we may not have done in the past.

Mr Dickson says, after seven or eight years, everybody realises the need to move on to other issues but COOL has to be resolved first.

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