Canada: Pork industry disappointed with labelling rule
The proposed rule is supposed to remove discrimination found by the WTO after a lengthy expensive challenge by Canada. It does not do this, indeed it exacerbates the problems posed by COOL to Canadian exporters of pork and beef livestock.
The proposed modified COOL rule will increase the level of discrimination against imported livestock and prolong the already lengthy WTO dispute.
The proposed regulatory changes will not eliminate the discrimination against imported livestock required for the US to comply with its WTO obligations. WTO provisions not previously ruled upon will reconfirm the condemnation of the COOL statue. No amount of regulatory fiddling can fix the WTO deficiencies in the law. The proposed rule will exacerbate the problem for Canadian exporters while, degrade the competitiveness of the US meat industry. It will undoubtedly result in the elimination of thousands of American jobs and will likely raise meat costs to American consumers.
The USDA knows that the proposed regulatory changes are likely to increase the risk that Canada will be in a position to retaliate. Lost live swine and beef cattle exports since COOL became mandatory in the fall of 2008 exceed $1 billion annually. Should the US not comply with its WTO obligations, retaliation will be inevitable.
The United States has until May 23rd to comply with the 23 July, 2012 decision of the WTO Appelate Body that COOL result in discrimination against non-US-born and raised livestock raised and processed in the USA. The Canadian pork industry believes the US needs to change the COOL law, not fiddle with its regulations to come into compliance because the COOL statue dictates the discrimination against Canadian and Mexican born and raised animals.
The CPC, together with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, has been engaged in years of expensive and time consuming challenges and litigation to end the serious discrimination posed by COOL. The two Canadian livestock associations have been working with allies in Canada and Mexico, as well as the United States, to find a timely and effective legislated end to the discrimination against Canadian feeder and slaughter hog exports which has been condemned by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Source: Canadian Pork Council
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