The World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body confirmed that the United States Country-of-Origin Labelling (COOL) measure discriminates against Canadian livestock and is inconsistent with the WTO trade obligations of the United States.
COOL is a mandatory United States labelling measure that forced the livestock industry in Canada and other countries to implement a burdensome labelling and tracking system. When the United States implemented COOL in 2008, the impact on the Canadian livestock industry was immediately negative. Between 2008 and 2009, exports to the United States of Canadian feeder cattle declined 49 percent and exports of slaughter hogs declined 58 percent. COOL led to the disintegration of the North American supply chain, created unpredictability in the market and imposed additional costs on producers on both sides of the border.
Canada and the United States enjoy the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world, with two-way trade in goods and services reaching almost $709 billion last year. Agriculture and agri-food bilateral merchandise trade accounted for $43 billion in 2011. Reducing obstacles to trade contributes to mutually beneficial supply chains, making both countries more competitive domestically and internationally. All told, the jobs of over 8 million Americans depend on trade with Canada, and over 2.4 million Canadian jobs depend on exports to the United States.
Friday June 29, 2012/ Government of Canada.