Canada Moving Towards WTO Challenge Over COOL

Claims labeling measures are unfair to Canadian exporters.

Published on: Dec 2, 2008

In what they call an important step in defending Canadian livestock producers Canada's Ministers of International Trade and Agriculture have requested formal consultations with the U.S. under the World Trade Organization dispute settlement process on country of origin labeling measures. If the formal discussions do not lead to a resolution the matter can be referred to a WTO dispute settlement panel.

According to the International Trade Minister COOL is creating undue trade restrictions to the detriment of Canadian exporters. The Ag Minister says the consultation is an opportunity to resolve the issue with the U.S. but also signals that the government will stand up for Canadian producers.

Canada's Ag Minister also announced a government-industry working group is monitoring the implementation of COOL to gather data on the economic impact on Canadian livestock and meat industries. Producers have indicated the rules are having a negative impact on livestock and meat exports.