Calgary, AB – Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) representatives worked alongside Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz in Washington, D.C. this week advocating for the legislative amendments required for the U.S. to come into compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations regarding Country of Origin Labelling (COOL).
CCA President Martin Unrau and Director, Government and International Relations, John Masswohl, undertook direct advocacy with key industry allies in D.C. to present the CCA position that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposal of March 8, 2013 fails to bring the U.S. into compliance with its WTO obligations and instead increases the level of discrimination and cost to livestock producers in Canada and Mexico.
“The USDA’s proposal has put the U.S. on a path toward Canada implementing retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports,” said Unrau. “We appreciate the strong support for retaliation voiced today by Minister Ritz and the commitment of International Trade Minister Ed Fast and the Government of Canada on this difficult trade issue.”
The only way the U.S. can be in compliance with the WTO is to amend the COOL legislation to allow either a single mandatory label for all meat processed in the U.S. or to allow for voluntary labelling. Until this outcome is achieved, the CCA will continue to work with its allies in the U.S. and with the Government of Canada to pursue retaliatory or compensation options through the WTO.
The CCA will be making a written submission to the USDA proposal by the deadline of April 11.