Thursday, December 10, 2015

North Dakota officials, ranchers want meat labeling changed

As part of a final push to resist the imposition of retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico, on June 22, 2015, the United States exercised its right under the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding to have an arbitrator determine the value of retaliatory measures Canada and Mexico could take against the U.S. The decision issued on December 7, 2015, marks the end of this WTO dispute, leaving Canada with some clear options to consider in connection with taking retaliatory measures in order to put pressure on the withdraw the COOL measures. About 250 USA companies and trade associations have sent a letter to every member of the U.S.Senate, urging them to do away with country-of-origin labelling on Canadian and Mexican beef and pork. "Mandatory COOL is one of the most costly and cumbersome rules ever imposed on the agricultural sector and the WTO announcement sets in motion Canada's and Mexico's ability to impose tariffs, a move they will likely complete before Christmas", says Barry Carpenter, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI). Canada is working on duties on a range of imported US-made food products following authorisation from the WTO it can collect C$1.05bn (US$772m) annually in compensation for illegal United States country-of-origin labels. "NCC supports legislative action that will bring US laws and regulations pertaining to meat and poultry into full compliance with our global trade obligations". The ruling not only applies to livestock produced in the USA, but to fish, shellfish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and certain nuts. It ruled Monday that Canada could impose $780 million in retaliatory tariffs and Mexico could impose $228 million. But, Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs, emphasizes that both Canada and Mexico said since the outset that beef would be among the products. All eyes now turn to Washington to see if the U.S. Congress will pass legislation repealing COOL...more

No comments: