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Canada draws up COOL retaliation list

"Wide ranging" list of commodities targeted for retaliation marks next phase of Canada's involvement in WTO dispute over Country of Origin Labeling.

The Canadian government has developed a list of U.S. commodities that could be targeted for retaliation in Canada's opposition to the U.S. country-of-origin label (COOL) law, according to an announcement June 7.

“Despite consistent rulings by the World Trade Organization, the U.S. government continues its unfair trade practices, which are severely damaging to Canadian industry and jobs," trade minister Ed Fast and agriculture minister Gerry Ritz said in a joint statement. “Our government is extremely disappointed that the United States continues to uphold this protectionist policy, which the WTO has ruled to be unfair, and we call on the United States to abide by the WTO ruling.

The "wide-ranging" list, containing literally dozens of commodities, will soon be published in the Canadian Gazette, marks the formal launch of the next phase in Canada's involvement in its dispute settlement process in the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to the ministers' statement.

According to an announcement from the Canadian Cattlemen's Assn. (CCA), the list clearly indicates that CCA and other livestock organizations in Canada, along with the Canadian government, do not believe the recent amendment to the U.S. COOL law brings the U.S. into compliance with WTO trade rules.

Fast and Ritz said the government would continue to consult with stakeholders in pursuing a "fair resolution of this issue through the WTO over the next 18 to 24 months." They confirmed, however, that the government would not act on its proposed retaliatory measures until the WTO authorizes Canada to do so.

The list of possible retaliation items includes live cattle and swine, fresh and frozen beef and pork, cheese and other dairy products, some fruits, including apples and cherries, and a large number of other U.S. commodities.

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