Executive Briefings

WTO Ruling Feeds Canada's Ability to Levy Huge Tariffs on U.S. Beef

Canada is prepared to impose retaliatory tariffs against U.S. beef imports after the World Trade Organization sided with Canada and Mexico in a trade battle over meat-labeling rules.

WTO Ruling Feeds Canada's Ability to Levy Huge Tariffs on U.S. Beef

The WTO decision is the latest development in a dispute over U.S. mandates that food contain country-of-origin labels, a measure known by the acronym COOL.

“If the U.S. Senate does not take immediate action to repeal COOL for beef and pork, Canada will quickly take steps to retaliate,” the government said in a statement jointly released by International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “Canada continues to work with our partners in the United States, and in the U.S. Senate, to urge the full repeal of the discriminatory COOL policy for beef and pork.”

Losing access to markets in Canada and Mexico would cost American beef producers 10 cents a pound immediately, U.S.-based National Cattlemen’s Association said in an e-mailed statement. If the Senate doesn’t repeal the labeling rules, “U.S. beef exports will face a 100 percent tariff in these countries, severely diminishing about $2bn of beef exports annually,” President Philip Ellis said in the statement.

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The WTO decision is the latest development in a dispute over U.S. mandates that food contain country-of-origin labels, a measure known by the acronym COOL.

“If the U.S. Senate does not take immediate action to repeal COOL for beef and pork, Canada will quickly take steps to retaliate,” the government said in a statement jointly released by International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “Canada continues to work with our partners in the United States, and in the U.S. Senate, to urge the full repeal of the discriminatory COOL policy for beef and pork.”

Losing access to markets in Canada and Mexico would cost American beef producers 10 cents a pound immediately, U.S.-based National Cattlemen’s Association said in an e-mailed statement. If the Senate doesn’t repeal the labeling rules, “U.S. beef exports will face a 100 percent tariff in these countries, severely diminishing about $2bn of beef exports annually,” President Philip Ellis said in the statement.

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WTO Ruling Feeds Canada's Ability to Levy Huge Tariffs on U.S. Beef