WTO sides with Canada again, Panel report confirms U.S. COOL regulation discrimination

October 20 - Today the World Trade Organization (WTO) Compliance Panel made public its report regarding U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), confirming that Canada has won another important and decisive victory at the WTO on MCOOL.   

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) welcomes the Panel report as it unequivocally supports Canada’s position that the U.S. amendments to the COOL regulation continue the discrimination against live imports of cattle and hogs into the U.S. marketplace. Indeed, in finding that “. . . the amended COOL measure has increased the original COOL measure’s detrimental impact on the competitive opportunities of imported livestock . . .,” the Panel affirms the CCA’s position that the revised regulation is worse than the original.

The CCA is calling on the U.S. Congress to immediately repeal the red meat requirements of the COOL legislation or revise the legislation in a manner that eliminates the need for U.S. cattle buyers to segregate imported from U.S. born livestock.

“The compliance panel report leaves no shadow of a doubt that the U.S. COOL legislation is causing discrimination against live imports of cattle and hogs into the U.S. marketplace,” said CCA President Dave Solverson. “Until COOL comes into compliance with the WTO, the CCA will continue to insist that the Government of Canada prepare to impose prohibitively high tariffs on key U.S. exports to Canada, including beef.”

The next step in the WTO process will be adoption of the report at a meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). Adoption of the report, which can be delayed only by a U.S. appeal, would trigger Canada’s rights to compensation or retaliation. If the U.S. files an appeal and Canada once again wins, Canada would be authorized to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports.

The impact of COOL on the combined Canadian cattle and hog sectors was estimated in 2012 to be approximately $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 to prepare to impose tariffs on U.S. exports selected from a list of targeted commodities released in June 2013.

Solverson thanked Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast for seeing the WTO process through. “I look forward to continuing to work with them on this file until it is fully resolved,” he said.

For further information, contact:

For further information, contact:

Gina Teel
Communications Manager 
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306
403-875-3616 | 
teelg@cattle.ca 
www.cattle.ca