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Retaliation Likely Without Full Repeal of M-COOL

18 August 2015, at 12:00am

US - The chair of the National Pork Producer Council's Trade Committee warns, unless the US repeals Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, Canadian and Mexican trade retaliation is likely, writes Bruce Cochrane.

To ward of retaliatory tariffs on US exports into Canada and Mexico the US House of Representatives voted in June to repeal provision of Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling that pertain to beef, pork and poultry.

Last month two proposals were introduced in the Senate, one that would mirror the bill passed in the House and one that would replace mandatory labeling with a voluntary label that would require identification of where animals were born, raised and slaughtered to be considered domestic meat.

NPPC Trade Committee chair Dr Howard Hill points out Canada has already indicated any thing short of full repeal will result in retaliation.

Dr Howard Hill-National Pork Producers Council:

It would definitely affect us.

Mexico imports a lot of hams from the United States and I'm sure, as they did when we had the trucking issue with Mexico, they would probably put that on a retaliation list.

I have not seen a retaliation list and I don't know if Mexico has actually published one yet or not.
Of course Canada has and pork is on there.

When that happened back 6 or 7 years ago, with the trucking issue, the import tax that Mexico put on our pork products allowed Canada to actually take some of that market away from the US and so Canada was able to export hams into Mexico at a lower cost than we did because we had that tariff on there and I imagine that would happen again.

Dr Hill says NPPC is lobbying for full repeal, but right now, if we had a vote he's not sure how it would go.

He says the problem is, if the voluntary labeling amendment goes through and the Canadians don't accept it, retaliation will go into place and it will be a long time before it can be fixed.

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