OTTAWA — Canada’s beef and pork sectors are welcoming a World Trade Organization ruling that allows Canada and Mexico to impose $1 billion in annual tariffs on U.S. products.
The decision comes in a long-running saga focused on how the U.S. labels packaged steaks and other meats.
Canada had been expecting today’s favourable ruling because the WTO ruled in May that the American labelling, known as COOL, violated its international trade obligations.
The WTO had found that the American “rules of origin” labelling provisions left Canadian and Mexican meat products at a disadvantage.
A joint statement by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Canadian Pork Council, the National Feeders’ Association and Canadian Meat Council called on the U.S. to scrap its labelling provisions in light of the decision.
International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay also urged the U.S. to get rid of those provisions.
“If the U.S. Senate does not take immediate action to repeal COOL for beef and pork, Canada will quickly take steps to retaliate,” they said in a joint statement.
The U.S. House of Representatives repealed the provisions in June. The U.S. can’t appeal the WTO decision.