The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) welcomes the Government of Canada’s decision to request that the WTO establish a compliance panel on USDA’s Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) rule.
“The Canadian Pork industry has always believed that a legislative change is required for the US to come into compliance with its WTO obligations on COOL,” stated CPC’s Chair Jean-Guy Vincent. “Today’s announcement is another step forward in seeking a resolution to COOL and its discrimination against Canadian livestock exports.”
Damage to the Canadian livestock industry has been horrendous. Since COOL was introduced in 2008, exports to the US of Canadian hogs have fallen by 41% and exports of cattle by 46%. Estimated total damages due to price declines, lost sales and added costs to the Canadian livestock sector exceed $1 billion per year. We are already seeing evidence that the amended COOL regulations will increase these damages.
CPC commissioned an analysis that shows the COOL impact on the Canadian hog sector from lost exports alone is $500 million annually. This does not include other impacts on Canada’s hog producers such as domestic price suppression. Nor does it reflect impacts from the new COOL rule that went into effect in May.
“The CPC has been working closely with the Government of Canada to pursue a WTO compliance panel which could lead to retaliatory tariffs against US exports when the revised US rule is found to be not compliant with their WTO obligations,” added Jean-Guy Vincent. “CPC will also continue to support efforts to convince the US Congress to pass legislative changes that would remove the discriminatory impact of COOL. CPC is also participating in a consortium of US, Mexican and Canadian industry organizations in a legal challenge of the constitutionality of the COOL rule.”