Following October elections, newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was said to support retaliation on U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling regulations. Now, new Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay has said he also will support COOL retaliation.
According to the National Pork Producers Council, in a press interview, MacAulay said of retaliation, "It's not what we want to do, but if we were forced to do it, it's something that we would likely have to do."
The COOL statute requires meat to be labeled with the country where the animal from which it was derived was born, raised and harvested. It also applies to fish, shellfish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and certain nuts.
The World Trade Organization has ruled that COOL discriminates against Canadian and Mexican livestock sent to the United States to be fed out and processed, violating international trade rules.
The WTO has authorized Canada and Mexico to place retaliatory tariffs on a host of U.S. goods, and a WTO arbitration panel now is determining the level of retaliation; Canada and Mexico have asked for a combined $3.1 billion.
The WTO decision on the retaliation amount is expected to be issued Dec. 7.