October 20, 2014 - On behalf of Canada; International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz, jointly with their Mexican counterparts; Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal and Secretary of Agriculture Enrique Martínez y Martínez, today issued the following joint statement on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL):
“The World Trade Organization (WTO) today publicly released the Compliance Panel’s final report with respect to U.S. COOL.
“The WTO has confirmed once again what we have known all along: that the United States’ mandatory COOL requirement for beef and pork is a blatant breach of its international obligations as a member of the WTO.
“The United States’ amended COOL measure has increased the discrimination against Canadian and Mexican livestock exports, and is harming our integrated and mutually beneficial North American meat industry, livestock farmers, ranchers, processors, plant workers and retailers in their communities.
“Canada and Mexico remain extremely disappointed that the United States has continued, to date, to attempt to defend this clearly protectionist policy, which harms trade with the United States’ largest export markets and also hurts domestic U.S. livestock producers and meat processors and retailers.
“The WTO’s latest ruling provides an opportunity for the U.S. to cease this harm and to comply with its international obligations.
“Canada and Mexico jointly call on the United States to repeal COOL legislation and restore the integrated North American market for cattle and hogs in order to maintain jobs and economic prosperity in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
“Canada and Mexico will remain vigilant to ensure the harm generated by the protectionist COOL policy is brought to an end and that international trade commitments are respected. We remain committed to using the WTO process to reach a satisfactory resolution to our concern, including if and as necessary, seeking authorization to implement retaliatory measures on U.S. agricultural and non-agricultural products.”