U.S. Appeals WTO mCOOL Ruling (Again); Appeal Postpones Possible Sanctions

Today, the United States officially lodged an appeal to the third and most recent World Trade Organization ruling on Country of Origin Labelling (COOL). Canadian Ministers are not pleased with the announced appeal.

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food issued the following statement in light of the news:

Canada is deeply disappointed with the U.S. decision to appeal the WTO ruling on COOL.

Canada fully expected the United States to live up to its international trade obligations and comply with the WTO ruling, which reaffirms 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.

With this delay, the United States is yet again preventing both of our countries from enjoying the benefits of freer and more open trade and is hurting farmers, ranchers and workers in the United States and Canada.

We are confident that the WTO Appellate Body in the compliance process will uphold the principal finding of the report: that the amended U.S. COOL measure discriminates against Canadian livestock. That finding marks another clear victory for Canada and recognizes the integrated nature of the North American supply chain.

Our government will always stand with our farmers and ranchers, and we will take whatever steps may be necessary, including retaliation, to achieve a fair resolution.

The appeal will postpone the possible sanctions.

Canadian damages are estimated to be over $1 billion annually with the implementation of COOL, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture believes will cost billions of dollars to implement.

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