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Manitoba Pork Hopeful WTO Hearings Will Lead to Resolution of M-COOL

21 September 2015, at 12:00am

CANADA - The general manager of Manitoba Pork is hoping hearings this week in Geneva will lead to resolution of the dispute over Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Canada and Mexico made their case this week at the World Trade Organization for authorization to impose duties on imported US, products if the United States fails to bring Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling into compliance with its international trade obligations.

Manitoba Pork general manager Andrew Dickson, who was in Geneva, says the labelling law has dramatically harmed the beef and pork industries in Canada and Mexico.

Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:

Canada is claiming that COOL has had an impact on the beef and pork industries in Canada of about $3.1 billion per annum.

Part of that is the result of the price suppression effects of not being able to export as freely as we used to into the US market and the loss of US export markets because of push back from processors and retailers in the United States from accepting animals that have been born and raised in Canada.
Mexico is seeking similar authority to impose tariffs.

They're claiming that they should be able to put tariffs in place of $713,000,000 US.

Of course the United States is pushing back and saying that Canada and Mexico have grossly exaggerated their claims and they've used a different economic model to do their assessment and they've come up with figures that Canada experienced only $43,000,000 worth of hurt per year and that Mexico has maybe hurt to the point of $47,000,000 US per year.

The issue now in front of the panel is what number will the panel allow the two countries to impose.

Dickson expects the panel to rule sometime in November.

He's hopeful the US will respond by repealing COOL in time to avoid tariffs.

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