Farmscape for June 8, 2015
Canada's Agriculture Minister warns, nothing less than full repeal of U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling will avert retaliatory tariffs on a range of products imported from the U.S. into Canada.
Canada and Mexico have asked for a special WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting later this month, at which time Canada will request authorization to impose over $3 billion in retaliatory measures against the U.S., while Mexico will seek authorization for over $653 million.
Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz says, with the final World Trade Organization ruling on Mandatory COOL in our favor, the U.S. has exhausted its final avenue of appeal and is out of options and out of time.
Clip-Gerry Ritz-Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food:
Let me take minute to address the notion that this dispute can somehow be resolved by the implementation of a watered down version of COOL.
This suggestion is patently false and is not an option our government or our industries will entertain.
Let me re-state that a full repeal of COOL is the United States' only option to avoid retaliation.
A growing number of senior political and industry people stateside are demanding that U.S. Congress repeal COOL.
I met with my agricultural counterpart Tom Vilsack who recently said he recognizes there is no regulatory fix to COOL.
In two reports to Congress secretary Vilsack acknowledged that a legislative change is required and reaffirmed that COOL has cost his U.S. industry billions without providing any quantifiable benefits to American consumers.
Ritz notes he had very productive meetings with U.S. industry partners that stand with Canada and Mexico in wanting to put COOL behind us, including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, North American Meat Institute, American Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Pork Producers Council.
He says a growing number in the U.S. Congress are getting the message that Canada will not blink on COOL and we're encouraged that a bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal COOL for beef and pork.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council