U.S. appeals WTO ruling, CCA focused on eliminating unfair discrimination on imported cattle

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is disappointed that the United States (U.S.) today appealed the World Trade Organization (WTO) Compliance Panel ruling of October 20, which found that the U.S. has failed to bring its Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program into compliance with its WTO obligations. While the appeal was expected, it is the U.S.’s final procedural option before Canada can exercise its right to retaliate, and the CCA remains focused on eliminating the unfair discrimination on U.S. imports of cattle (and hogs). 

CCA President Dave Solverson said today’s move by the U.S. just means a little longer wait for the U.S. mandatory COOL battle to be over.

“When the WTO Compliance Panel released its decision on October 20, it was the third time the WTO has found the U.S. has failed to meet its international trade obligations,” Solverson said. “Moreover, the compliance panel report made it crystal clear that it is the U.S. COOL legislation that is causing discrimination against imports of live cattle and hogs in the U.S. marketplace. This is a stall tactic by the U.S. for sure, but one that can only end with the U.S. making an appropriate resolution to COOL that is acceptable to Canada and Mexico in order to avoid retaliation.” 

At this stage, the CCA is interested in the right fix as opposed to a fast fix, Solverson added.

Canada will be in a position to request WTO authority to retaliate once a decision on this appeal is received, confirming the October 20 compliance panel ruling. This process is expected to take several months with a decision perhaps as early as the spring of 2015.

The impact of COOL on the combined Canadian cattle and hog sectors was estimated in 2012 to be about $1.1 billion per year; however, the impact has increased since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) amended the regulation in 2013. The CCA will continue to work with the Government of Canada on the COOL file until it is fully resolved, including preparing to impose tariffs on U.S. exports selected from the list of targeted commodities, including beef, that was released in June 2013.

For further information, contact:

Gina Teel
Communications Manager
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-875-3616 | teelg@cattle.ca