KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


June 7, 2013

Manitoba Livestock Producers Pleased with COOL Announcement

The Manitoba Pork Council and Keystone Agricultural Producers are pleased to see the Government of Canada is taking action and pressuring the U.S. to make its country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulations conform to World Trade Organization obligations.

Today in Vancouver, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz announced a list of products that are potential targets for retaliatory action unless the U.S. makes legislative changes to the COOL program.

In June 2012, the WTO Appellate Body confirmed Canada’s complaint that COOL gives American hogs and cattle preferred treatment over Canadian imports. The WTO agreed that the record keeping and verification requirements provide American processors with an incentive to source domestic animals exclusively.

Beef and hog industry stakeholders on both sides of the border have argued from day one that COOL requirements are not reasonable, given how integrated the industries are between Canada and the U.S.

The recent (May 23, 2013) amendments to the COOL regulations made by the U.S. in response to the WTO ruling make the issue even more severe by removing some of the limited flexibility that the original measures included.

“Manitoba hog producers are very supportive of the announcement made by Minister Gerry Ritz today with the release of the retaliatory list that will be put into place if the U.S. does not comply with the WTO ruling,” said MPC Chair, Karl Kynoch.

“This issue has cost the Canadian hog industry $500 million per year for the last four years, and needs to be resolved. Manitoba Pork Council will continue to support the Government of Canada in any way possible in this matter.”

The hope is that a new U.S. Farm Bill will introduce changes to COOL that bring the program in line with WTO requirements. The Government of Canada expects that this threat of retaliation will provide the U.S. with the incentive it needs to take action.

“Trade is crucial to the ongoing success of Manitoba’s agriculture sectors,” said KAP president Doug Chorney. “The WTO rulings have made it clear that the U.S. is discriminating against Canadian imports with COOL requirements, and is failing to meet its WTO obligations.

“As Canada pursues bi-lateral and multi-lateral free trade agreements throughout the world, it is critical to us that the rules of these agreements be enforceable and that Canada demonstrates its willingness to respond to violations.”

The Manitoba Pork Council and KAP are hopeful that this action by the Government of Canada will provide some relief in the immediate future for Manitoba hog and cattle producers who have suffered severe financial stress due to COOL regulations.

Manitoba Pork Council’s role and mission is to represent the province’s 500 pork producers by fostering the sustainability and prosperity of the pork industry for the good of hog producers and all Manitobans.

Keystone Agricultural Producers is Manitoba’s largest general farm policy organization, representing over 7,000 farm families and 19 commodity groups throughout the province. Our strength is our democratic structure, and our mission is to represent and promote the interests of the province’s farm families.

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For more information, please contact:
Karl Kynoch, Chair, MPC: 204-535-2387
Andrew Dickson, General Manager, MPC: 204-237-7447
Doug Chorney, President, KAP: 204-785-3626
James Battershill, General Manager, KAP: 204-697-1140