April 29, 2009

Canada to file WTO complaint against COOL

Canada is filing a World Trade Organisation complaint over the country-of-origin labelling (COOL) imposed by the US, according to International Trade Minister Stockwell Day.


Canada is initiating a WTO consultation against provisions considered damaging to the Canadian agricultural industry, Day said.


The dispute concerns the COOL regulations issued February that require US producers to indicate the country-of-origin of food, including beef, poultry and pork. As a result of the regulations, some US producers have refused or segregated animals born in Canada, which hurts Canadian producers.


According to the USDA, Canadian pork exports to the US have dropped more than 40 percent this year, while cattle exports have dropped 25 percent. Canadian producers see this as the fault of COOL.


This provision limits trade and will hurt not only investment but also jobs on both sides of the border, Day said.


Ottawa wants to roll back any attempt or any provision that would exclude Canada from being able to enter into projects in the US, Day added.

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