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Ministers Fast & Ritz Call on U.S. to Comply with WTO Decision and Respect Trade Obligations

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, issued the following statement following today’s release of the WTO’s latest decision on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) policy:

“Today’s WTO compliance panel’s report re-affirms Canada’s long-standing view that the revised U.S. COOL measure is blatantly protectionist and fails to comply with the WTO’s original ruling against it. The WTO’s clear and consistent findings in support of Canada’s position effectively supply a clear message to the U.S.: End this protectionist policy that creates economic harm on both sides of our border, and comply with your international trade obligations.

“The U.S. COOL policy hurts businesses and workers in both the U.S. and Canada. The Harper government will continue to stand up for our farmers, ranchers and workers to bring this harm to an end.

“Canada is deeply disappointed that the U.S. has so far been unwilling to make the changes required to respect their trade obligations. In light of today’s ruling, Canada calls upon the U.S. to enact legislative change to eliminate COOL’s discriminatory treatment against Canadian hogs and cattle.

“Canada will be watching this situation closely to ensure U.S. compliance in accordance with the WTO’s clear ruling. We will continue to fully assert our rights to achieve a fair resolution to our concern, including seeking authorization to implement retaliatory measures on U.S. agricultural and non-agricultural products if and as necessary.”

For more information, please consult the 2013 Canada Gazette notice seeking comments on the proposed list of targeted U.S. imports.

For details of the report, please visit WTO issues compliance panel reports on US “country of origin” disputes.

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