Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

May 19, 2015 11:01 ET

Ministers Ritz and Fast Stand Firm With Canadian Industry Against U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 19, 2015) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast, alongside Canadian cattle and hog producers in Ottawa, reaffirmed Canada's longstanding position that the U.S. must repeal its protectionist and harmful COOL policy or face retaliatory measures. The Ministers were joined by Canadian Cattlemen's Association President Dave Solverson and Canadian Pork Council Chair Rick Bergmann.

Yesterday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body handed down a fourth and final ruling, reaffirming Canada's position that these measures are discriminatory against Canadian cattle and hogs.

The United States has used and exhausted all possible means to avoid their international obligations, damaging our highly integrated North American supply chain, hurting producers and processors on both sides of the border.

In response to the latest WTO decision, and in accordance with international trade rules, Canada will seek WTO authorization to retaliate against U.S. exports.

Our government stands on the side of Canadian farmers and ranchers, and we will continue to stand up for all hardworking Canadians.

Quick Facts

  • The Canadian livestock industry estimates the damages caused by COOL to be well over $1 billion annually.

  • U.S. exports to Canada would be at risk, including U.S. beef and pork, if Canada were to implement retaliatory measures.

  • A broad list of commodities which may be impacted, including beef, pork, wine, cherries, pasta, corn, office furniture and mattresses, was published in the Canada Gazette in June 2013.

Quotes

"The WTO has been clear - the United States administration must end its discriminatory COOL policy that is causing hurt to beef and pork industries on both sides of the border. Our Government is now seeking authority from the WTO to impose retaliatory measures against United States exports. We will continue to defend the interests of our cattle and hog sectors while protecting all hardworking Canadians through this process."

- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

The World Trade Organization has yet again reaffirmed Canada's long-standing position that the U.S.'s COOL measures are blatantly protectionist and discriminatory. We call on the U.S to cease this harmful policy and restore our integrated North American supply chain, benefitting businesses and workers on both sides of the border."

- International Trade Minister Ed Fast

"This is a significant victory for Canada's cattle industry. With the unfair discriminatory nature of U.S. mandatory COOL confirmed a fourth and final time by the WTO, Canadian cattle producers expect that either the U.S. will repeal COOL or Canada will exercise its right to retaliate. The Canadian Cattlemen's Association thanks the WTO Appellate Body for delivering a clear and decisive final ruling that U.S. COOL continues to discriminate against live imports of Canadian cattle and hogs."

- Dave Solverson, President, Canadian Cattlemen's Association

"The U.S. has now lost four times at the WTO and has no other appeal options. It is time that the negative impact of COOL on Canada's exported livestock is recognized by Congress and that they fix the legislation."

- Rick Bergmann, Chair, Canadian Pork Council

Additional links

- COOL Fact Sheet

- Statement by Canada and Mexico on U.S. COOL (May 18, 2015)

- Statement by Ministers Fast and Ritz on U.S. COOL (May 18, 2015)

- WTO Appellate Body Decision (May 18, 2015)

- 2013 Canada Gazette notice seeking comments on the proposed list of targeted U.S. imports

Contact Information

  • Jeff English
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059

    Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

    Max Moncaster
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
    Minister of International Trade
    343-203-7332

    Media Relations Office
    Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
    343-203-7700
    media@international.gc.ca
    Twitter: @CanadaTrade
    Facebook: Canada's International Trade Plan-DFATD