Friday, November 28, 2014

Free-trader U.S. defies trade ruling

The United States is refusing once again to comply with World Trade Organization rulings to scrap its trade-discriminating Country of Origin Labelling regulations for red meats from Canada and Mexico.

The U.S. has just announced that it intends to appeal the WTO's recent ruling that said the second set of COOL regulations adopted by the United States is even worse than the original set which the WTO said put the U.S. outside the four corners of the agreement it signed on world trade.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast issued a statement saying they're disappointed.

Furious would have been a better term.

Canada has prepared a list of products it intends to tax as a retaliatory measure for failing to comply with the World Trade Organization rulings. That is, of course, all on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.

This piece of justice in trade has been so long delayed that it is no justice at all. And the Canadian government has so far failed to offer even a single penny of compensation to the farmers who are losing more than $1 billion a year because of COOL. The farmers have substantiated their estimates of losses by hiring consulting companies to delve into the situation for cattle and hogs.

Here's the list of products Canada proposes to tax if and when it wins the WTO appeal decision.


Notice seeking comments on possible trade retaliation action against the United States in response to that country’s failure to comply with the World Trade Organization ruling on certain country of origin labelling requirements


On June 29, 2012, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body upheld an earlier WTO Panel ruling that United States (U.S.) Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) requirements under their 2008 Farm Bill discriminate against Canadian (and Mexican) livestock and violate their WTO obligations. The WTO gave the U.S. until May 23, 2013, to comply with its decision.
On May 23, 2013, the United States introduced regulatory changes to their existing COOL requirements. Canada does not agree that these changes bring the United States into compliance with their WTO obligations and intends to pursue a WTO compliance panel. If it is determined that these changes do not comply with the WTO decision, the United States can negotiate with Canada to provide compensation. If agreement cannot be reached on compensation, Canada will request authority from the WTO to retaliate to a level equivalent to damages resulting from COOL requirements.
The intent of these consultations is to ensure that Canada is prepared to react. Authority to impose any retaliatory measure would require the successful completion of all related WTO proceedings, which is not expected before the last quarter of 2014, at the earliest.

Invitation to submit views

If and when authorized by the WTO, Canada intends to levy a 100% surtax on imports of selected products from the United States. Should Canada be authorized to retaliate, the products subject to a surtax would be drawn from the list in Table 1, and would reflect comments received from Canadians. The list of products outlined at the tariff heading, tariff subheading, or tariff item level, should be read in conjunction with the Schedule to Canada’s Customs Tariff, which can be accessed at Any surtax would be rescinded in the event of U.S. compliance with their WTO obligations or in the event of a negotiated solution.
Interested parties are invited to submit comments in writing to the following address by no later than September 30, 2013: COOL Retaliation Consultations, International Trade Policy Division, Department of Finance, L’Esplanade Laurier, 14th Floor, East Tower, 140 O’Connor Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5, 613-992-6761 (fax), (email).
Tariff heading, sub-heading, or item
(see footnote 15)
Live bovine animals
Live swine
Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled
Meat of bovine animals, frozen
Meat of swine, fresh, chilled, or frozen
Cuts of offal, fresh or chilled of spent fowl
Cheese, not including the following: fresh (unripened or uncured) cheese, whey cheese or curd; grated or powdered; processed cheese; blue-veined cheese or cheese containing veins produced by Penicillium roqueforti
Apples, fresh
Cherries, other than sour cherries (Prunus cerasus)
Cherries, provisionally preserved (unsuitable in that state for immediate consumption)
Corn (maize)
Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed
Prepared or preserved — prepared meals of spent fowl; prepared meals of specially defined mixtures
Prepared or preserved — specially defined mixtures, other than in cans or glass jars; spent fowl other than in cans or glass jars
Prepared or preserved swine cuts, other than ham and cuts thereof, other than shoulder and cuts thereof
Prepared or preserved meat of bovine animals
Maple sugar and maple syrup
Glucose and glucose syrup, containing in the dry state at least 20% but less than 50% by weight of fructose, excluding invert sugar
Other fructose and fructose syrup, containing in the dry state more than 50% by weight of fructose, excluding invert sugar
Chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa — preparations in blocks, slabs or bars weighing more than 2 kg or in liquid, paste, powder, granular or other bulk form in containers or immediate packings, of a content exceeding 2 kg
Chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa — chocolate ice cream mix or ice milk mix; chocolates; chocolate coated nuts and other confectionery
Pasta, whether or not cooked or stuffed (with meat or other substances) or otherwise prepared, such as spaghetti, macaroni, noodles, lasagna, gnocchi, ravioli, cannelloni; couscous, whether or not prepared
Prepared foods obtained by the swelling or roasting of cereals or cereal products (for example, corn flakes); cereals (other than maize [corn]) in grain form or in the form of flakes or other worked grains (except flour, groats and meal), pre-cooked or otherwise prepared, not elsewhere specified or included
Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers’ wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers, empty cachets of a kind suitable for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper and similar products
Potatoes, prepared or preserved otherwise than by vinegar or acetic acid, frozen, other than products of heading 20.06
Orange juice, frozen
Tomato ketchup and other tomato sauces
Wine of fresh grapes, including fortified wines; grape must other than that of heading 20.09
Ethyl alcohol and other spirits, denatured, of any strength
Sugars, chemically pure, other than sucrose, lactose, maltose, glucose and fructose; sugar ethers, sugar acetals and sugar esters, and their salts, other than products of heading 29.37, 29.38 or 29.39
Peptones and their derivatives; other protein substances and their derivatives, not elsewhere specified or included; hide powder, whether or not chromed
Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal
Other tubes, pipes and hollow profiles, welded, of circular cross-section, of stainless steel
Parts of stoves, ranges, grates, cookers (including those with subsidiary boilers for central heating), barbecues, braziers, gas-rings, plate warmers and similar non-electric domestic appliances, and parts thereof, of iron or steel
Grinding balls and similar articles for mills, forged or stamped, but not further worked, of iron or steel
Swivel seats with variable height adjustment
Wooden furniture of a kind used in offices
Mattresses of materials other than cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered