Calgary, AB – The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is elated that the omnibus appropriations bill including language to repeal U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef and pork today cleared both the U.S. House and Senate and has been sent to President Barack Obama to be signed. Once signed, the bill will become law, marking the successful conclusion of a legal battle initiated by the CCA over seven years ago.
The passage of the omnibus appropriations bill in the U.S. House and Senate comes on the same day that Canada is to receive authority from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose retaliatory tariffs of more than $1 billion on U.S. products if COOL is not repealed.
“This is fantastic news for Canada’s beef cattle producers,” said CCA President Dave Solverson. “The CCA initiated this fight in 2008 because the U.S. failed to live up to its international trade obligations. In the seven years since U.S. COOL has been in effect, the cumulative losses for the Canadian beef and pork sectors have been staggering.”
CCA Vice President Dan Darling said it has been a long and arduous battle, and a costly one with legal fees nearing $4 million. However, that amount – paid by beef producers through their provincial check-off -- is eclipsed by the cost of COOL discrimination inflicted on the Canadian and Mexican producers. COOL repeal is an excellent example of provincial check-off dollars at work and Darling thanked producers for directing their dollars towards the file.
“On behalf of the people who operate Canada’s 68,500 beef farms and feedlots, I would like to thank the Government of Canada for their continued support throughout this process,” Darling added. “I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of CCA staff Dennis Laycraft for leading this effort and of course John Masswohl’s advocacy work and the efforts of our legal team to conclude this file in favour of Canada’s beef producers.”
U.S. COOL has been in effect since 2008. At every step of the process, the WTO has repeatedly found that the U.S. is in breach of its WTO obligations. The only revision the U.S. has made, in 2013, increased the negative impact on Canadian farmers and meat processors.
The CCA thanks Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, for their support on this ongoing trade file. Minister MacAulay has said once the COOL legislation is repealed Canada will be in a position to remove retaliation but not until the U.S. has ‘satisfactorily removed COOL from pork and beef in this country.’ We also thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for personally weighing in on the issue with President Obama in recent weeks.
The CCA would also like to acknowledge former Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast for their outstanding efforts on the COOL file over the years.
For further information, contact:
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306 | email@example.com