The executive director of the Canadian Pork Council says Canada's pork producers are hopeful the U.S. will avoid the prospects of retaliatory tariffs by bringing Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling into compliance with its international trade obligations. In July the World Trade Organization upheld a November 2011 Dispute Settlement Panel ruling that U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling discriminates against imported livestock and is inconsistent with U.S. trade obligations.
Earlier this month a WTO arbitrator gave the United States until May 23 to bring the labelling measure into compliance or face the prospects of retaliatory tariffs. Canadian Pork Council executive director Martin Rice says the hope of the Canadian pork industry is to see the U.S. implement the corrective action necessary to remove the discrimination and avoid the need for retaliation.
Clip-Martin Rice-Canadian Pork Council: We do not oppose Country of Origin Labelling and we're not arguing for the U.S. law to be repealed or removed. We though are saying that the U.S. requirements under COOL do lead to unnecessary discrimination against Canadian-born animals in that a processor dealing with Canadian born or Mexican born because Mexico also joined this case has to treat those animals differently. It leads to record keeping and other requirements which caused the processors to buy less or buy no animals born in Canada. That leads to discrimination against our product and reduced sales. That's exactly what led to the WTO panel agreeing that those different requirements have lead to discriminatory treatment and that's what the U.S. has to under WTO law, under WTO panel decisions needs to correct.
Rice hopes to see the changes that will restore the opportunity to sell Canadian born live swine and cattle into a free and open U.S. market as was envisioned by the integration of the North American market since NAFTA.