Tuesday, December 4, 2012

May 23 COOL deadline

The United States faces a May 23 deadline to change its Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation to comply with World Trade Organization rules of trade.

The changes required will boost prices for Canadian cattle and hogs shipped to packing plants in the United States.

They have been depressed since the U.S. implemented mandatory COOL regulations in 2008, costing Canadian livestock farmers millions. They had to hire lawyers and consultants to bring the U.S. to justice before the World Trade Organization.

Trade Minister Ed Fast and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz say they expect the U.S. will comply by the May 23 deadline. If the U.S. does not comply, it will face penalties that will reflect Canada’s choosing, such as Canadian tariffs on selected U.S. products.

Mexico joined with Canada in challenging the U.S. COOL regulations.

The two Canadian politicians issued a news release saying “removing onerous labeling measures, and the unfair, unnecessary costs that go with them, will improve competitiveness, boost growth, and help strengthen the prosperity of Canadian and American producers alike.”