Iowa Senators Warned Over COOL Repercussions

CANADA - Representatives of Manitoba Pork and Iowa's senators met last week at the World Pork Expo to discuss the Canada's retaliation measures against the US over country-of-origin labelling (COOL), writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 8 June 2015
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The chair of Manitoba Pork warned them that trade retaliation is imminent if the US fails to address Canadian and Mexican concerns over Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling.

Members of a delegation representing Manitoba Pork met with representatives of Iowa senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, to discuss pork industry concerns over the imminent prospects of retaliatory tariffs on US products imported into Canada if the issue of US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling isn't resolved, following the final World Trade Organization ruling that the law violates American trade obligations.

Canada and Mexico have asked for a special WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting on 17 June at which time Canada will request authorisation to impose over $3 billion in retaliatory measures against the US, while Mexico will seek authorisation for over $653 million.

George Matheson, the chair of Manitoba Pork, says it appears US legislators are beginning to recognize the significance of the this issue.

George Matheson-Manitoba Pork:

I think maybe for a lot of them for the first time, they are really seeing it as a very important issue, that Canada is taking very seriously, that they are prepared to apply these tariffs so it is definitely raised in terms of issues of importance.

This is a very significant issue and the repercussions will not be pretty if COOL continues to exist and the best way, our feeling is, to deal with this is to repeal the law, go back to the days when free trade was existent and not even go close to this tariff situation that we would be entitled to have on US imports.

Mr Matheson says retaliation is not a road pork producers want to go down, but Canada will use all available options to get its point across.

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