Meat labeling victory

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 Monday’s favorable ruling because the WTO ruled in May that the American labeling, known as COOL, violated its international trade obligations.

The WTO had found that the American “rules of origin” labeling 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 labeling provisions in light of the decision.

Last week, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada was awaiting the decision so it would learn the amount of retaliation its industry would be permitted.

The Canadian Press

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