Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 17, 2015 15:12 ET

Statement From Ministers Ritz and Fast on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 17, 2015) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. decision to seek arbitration at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the amount of damages caused by COOL. The decision comes after Canada requested WTO authority to impose retaliatory tariffs of more than $3 billion annually on U.S. exports due to damages caused by COOL.

"Canada is disappointed that the U.S. is attempting to prolong the WTO process by requesting arbitration."

"The U.S. is out of options and retaliation cannot be avoided by drawing out this process."

"The Chief Economist for the United States Department of Agriculture has stated that COOL is costing the American industry alone some $2.6 billion (USD) annually. Canada is confident in our assessment that COOL is causing more than $3 billion in annual damages to the Canadian cattle and hog industry."

"In all previous rulings, the WTO has found Canada's economic analysis regarding COOL to be robust. Our analysis was quantified by Daniel Sumner, a world-renowned specialist in agricultural economics."

"Our government's position remains unchanged. The only way for the United States to avoid billions in retaliation by late summer is to ensure legislation repealing COOL passes the Senate and is signed by the President."

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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
    Follow us on 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
    Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaTrade