Canada Hopes WTO Ruling will Help Resolve Labelling Dispute

Farmscape for November 21, 2011   (Episode 4014)

Canada's International Trade Minister is hopeful the WTO ruling on Canada's complaint over U.S. Mandatory COOL will open the door to a resolution of the dispute.

On Friday the World Trade Organization issued its report on complaints by Canada and Mexico regarding United States Country of Origin Labelling.

The investigating panel determined the law affords imported livestock treatment less favorable than that accorded to like domestic livestock and it does not fulfill the objective of providing consumer information on origin with respect to meat products.

Ed Fast, Canada's Minister of International Trade, says the ruling confirms COOL is discriminatory and is inconsistent with U.S. trade obligations.

Clip-Ed Fast-Canadian Minister of International Trade:
COOL's lengthy processes, paper burden and red tape impose unfair and unnecessary costs not only on producers but on our entire integrated North American supply chains.

It creates confusion and uncertainty for producers and businesses in both countries who, for generations, have depended on the smooth efficient flow of livestock across our border.

We've always said that, as our economies continue to gather strength following the global recession, COOL was a step in the wrong direction.

With this WTO ruling we can now work with our American partners to turn this around and put our livestock industry back on a track to create more jobs and greater prosperity.

In fact creating more jobs, opportunity and economic growth is the primary focus of both of our countries.

Improving the flow of trade by removing unnecessary barriers, costs and red tape is also the main goal of our border vision initiatives jointly announced by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama last February.

Fast stresses, while the focus is often on these little trade irritants, the Canada-U.S. relationship is the world's largest bilateral trade partnership, representing some 650 billion dollars a year in trade, and the world's greatest free trade success story.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council