US appeals WTO decision in COOL dispute

By Georgi Gyton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Canada is gearing up to take retaliatory measures against the US if the appeal is unsuccessful
Canada is gearing up to take retaliatory measures against the US if the appeal is unsuccessful

Related tags: International trade, United states, Beef, Pork

The United States has appealed the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) decision, on its amended country-of-origin labelling (COOL) measures.

In October the WTO’s compliance panel found that the measures violated part of the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, resulting in less favourable treatment to complainants Canada and Mexico

The dispute has been running since 2008, when the new COOL rules stated that only animals that had been raised, born and slaughtered in the US could be given the label of US origin.

On 28 November, the US filed a Notice of Appeal against the WTO ruling.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) said it was disappointed by the decision. While the appeal was expected, it is the US’ final chance to take a stand against the ruling before Canada can exercise its right to take retaliatory trade measures.

The CCA said it remained focused on "eliminating the unfair discrimination on US imports of cattle (and hogs)".​ It was estimated in 2012 that the impact of COOL on the combined Canadian cattle and hog sectors is close to $1.1bn per year.

Dave Solverson, president of the CCA, said: "When the WTO Compliance Panel released its decision on 20 October, it was the third time the WTO has found the US has failed to meet its international trade obligations.

"Moreover, the compliance panel report made it crystal clear that it is the US COOL legislation that is causing discrimination against imports of live cattle and hogs in the US marketplace. This is a stall tactic by the US, for sure, but one that can only end with the US making an appropriate resolution to COOL that is acceptable to Canada and Mexico in order to avoid retaliation."

The appeal process is expected to last several months, with a decision possible by as early as spring 2015.

Related topics: Meat

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