Canada's agriculture minister, Gerry Ritz, said two U.S. senators are wrong to say their proposal for a voluntary country-of-origin label (COOL) for beef, pork and chicken is similar to the "Product of Canada" label available in his country.
Canada and Mexico said they will ask the WTO approval for $3.7 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural and manufactured goods in their latest response to a U.S. meat-labeling law. "The only way for the United States to avoid billions in immediate retaliation is to repeal COOL," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz of Canada, referring to the country-of-origin labeling law. The U.S. House could vote as early as next week on a bill to repeal COOL for beef, pork and chicken, the three most widely consumed meats.
The first case of mad cow disease in Canada since 2011 was confirmed in a beef cow in Alberta, according to the Canadian Press. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said he did not expect the discovery to affect beef exports.
The United States filed an appeal at the World Trade Organization against its ruling that U.S. country-of-origin labels on beef, pork and poultry packages are unfair to Canada and Mexico.
For the second time, the World Trade Organization ruled U.S. meat-origin labels are a violation of global trade rules. The ruling, which can be appealed, opens the door to retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods if the regulations are not modified. Appeals generally are not successful at this stage at WTO but they can delay an adverse decision for a couple of months.