June 7, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today issued the following statement on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL):
“Despite consistent rulings by the World Trade Organization, the U.S. government continues its unfair trade practices, which are severely damaging to Canadian industry and jobs.
“Our government is extremely disappointed that the United States continues to uphold this protectionist policy, which the WTO has ruled to be unfair, and we call on the United States to abide by the WTO ruling.
“We are preparing to launch the next phase of the WTO dispute settlement process on the new U.S. rule, which we had hoped to avoid by the United States living up to its trade obligations.
“The Canadian government, with the full support and active engagement of Canadian industry, has fought against this unfair treatment, which is also hurting U.S. industry and consumers.
“When the United States failed to comply by the May 23 deadline, we said we would pursue all options available. Today, we are also releasing a list of U.S. commodities for possible retaliation, to be published as soon as possible in the Canada Gazette, as a way to formally launch the consultation process.
“Our government will continue to consult with stakeholders as we pursue a fair resolution of this issue through the WTO over the next 18 to 24 months. To respect Canada’s WTO obligations, our government will not act on these retaliatory measures until the WTO authorizes us to do so.”
- 30 -
A backgrounder follows.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
Minister of Agriculture
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The following list itemizes the products imported from the United States that may be targeted in response to the failure by the United States to comply with the WTO ruling on certain Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) requirements. The list will be published in theCanada Gazette for the purposes of consulting with interested Canadians. Numbers indicate the tariff heading, sub-heading or item under the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.