CCA looks to next steps as U.S. Congress maintains discriminatory COOL

CCA Statement

Calgary, AB – The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is disappointed that the United States (U.S.) Congress has failed to address the mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) provisions that have resulted in costly handling practices for purchasers of imported livestock in the U.S.

During the recent efforts to conclude a new U.S. Farm Bill, the CCA advanced several proposals to amend the COOL provisions that would have maintained the core program, thus providing U.S. consumers with origin information, while eliminating the discriminatory effects on Canada’s livestock trade. The CCA would have supported Canada terminating the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute compliance case if its preferred proposal had been accepted.

Unfortunately, the proponents of COOL were unwilling to consider any amendment to the COOL statute that would have allowed the U.S. to meet its international obligations. As a result the program is expected to remain unaltered as the final Farm Bill is likely to pass Congress later this week.

The next step for Canada will be to continue with the WTO process, including presentation of oral arguments before the compliance panel during the week of February 18. Then we will await the panel’s decision on whether COOL is in compliance with the U.S.’s WTO obligations, followed by an inevitable appeal. If this process must continue fully to its conclusion, Canada could be authorized to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports sometime in the first half of 2015.

The Government of Canada has already published a list of possible U.S. goods that could be targeted for retaliatory tariffs. That list includes beef, pork, cereals, baked goods, fresh fruit and many other items produced in areas represented by Congressmen and Senators who opposed a resolution in the Farm Bill. The CCA fully supports the Government of Canada’s efforts to pursue WTO approval to impose retaliatory tariffs.

 For further information, contact:

 

Gina Teel
Communications Manager
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306 | teelg@cattle.ca
www.cattle.ca