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Failure to Address M-COOL Could Cost US Economy $2 Billion Per Year

17 February 2015, at 11:31am

CANADA and US - The president of the National Pork Producers Council warns in the event Canada and Mexico impose retaliatory tariffs on imported American products it will cost the US economy upwards of two billion dollars per year, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In November the United States appealed the latest ruling that Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling violates US international trading agreements and the World Trade Organization is schedule to hear that appeal next week.

In the event the US loses, Canada and Mexico will be in a position to apply to impose retaliatory tariffs on imported US products.

National Pork Producers Council president Dr Howard Hill says no one wants the issue to move that far.

Dr Howard Hill-National Pork Producers Council:

Right now the appellate court of the WTO is looking at the US's position which they have found in violation of the WTO rules once and now I imagine that we'll lose again.

That would be my prediction that we'll lose again and at that point then Mexico and Canada can petition the WTO to start applying sanctions, which would be tariffs against a lot of different products that would come from the United States, including pork.

Canada and the US are two of the biggest trading partners and it's estimated that if we got to the point of actual retaliation, which I hope never happens, it would cost the US something like two billion dollars a year so it would have a huge impact on our economy.

I know that Canada pork producers don't want retaliation. We definitely don't want retaliation. We just hope that we can get a legislated fix to this that is WTO compliant.

The World Trade Organization is expected to issue its final report on the appeal in May, and in the event the US loses, Canada and Mexico could be in a position to impose retaliatory tariffs by this coming summer or fall.

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