CCA Statement – U.S. must repeal red meat requirements of COOL to avoid retaliation

Calgary, AB - The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) applauds the Government of Canada’s unwavering focus on implementing retaliatory tariffs in the U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) case, following a swift rejection of a proposal put forth today by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow to introduce a bill that would repeal the COOL legislation and replace it with a voluntary COOL provision.

The CCA has made it clear that the voluntary COOL program being proposed by a handful of senators is unacceptable as it remains based on U.S. origin being reserved for cattle born and raised in the U.S. and therefore would maintain segregation. The CCA joins Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast in urging the U.S. Senate to follow the lead of the U.S. House of Representatives and immediately repeal the red meat requirements of the COOL legislation. In June the House voted 300-131 to repeal mandatory COOL.

This approach would be in line with an amendment also introduced today by Senator Pat Roberts. The amendment echoes the action taken by the U.S. House in June and, once enacted, would bring the U.S. into compliance with its international trade obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The CCA applauds Senator Roberts for this action and for recognizing full repeal is the only option.

The Stabenow bill fails to address the discriminatory nature of the red meat requirements of COOL. The WTO has repeatedly ruled against the U.S. on COOL precisely because it discriminates against live imports of Canadian cattle and hogs. In May, the WTO Appellate Body delivered a clear and decisive final ruling that affirmed the unfair discriminatory nature of COOL and reinforced the international trade body’s three earlier rulings that COOL violates the U.S.’s international trade obligations.

Canada and Mexico will soon be in a position to implement retaliatory tariffs on key U.S. exports. Canada has requested authorization to impose tariffs on more than C$3 billion per year of U.S. exports. Mexico is requesting authorization for over US$713 million in retaliatory tariffs.

There is still time for the U.S. Senate to repeal the red meat requirements of the COOL legislation before the arbitration process is complete and tariffs can be put into place. At that time, the Government of Canada will decide when the tariffs go on, how high they will be, and under what conditions the tariffs will be removed.

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