Alberta applauds WTO ruling and calls for end to COOL

The Alberta government is calling on the United States to put an end to its discriminatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) requirements on beef and pork imports, following a decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“Time and time again the WTO has clearly supported Alberta and Canada’s position that the U.S. government is failing to meet its trade obligations because of the excessive labelling, tracking and segregation requirements placed on Canadian beef and pork imports. It’s time for the American government to do what is right and put an end to this blatantly discriminatory trade barrier.”

– Jim Prentice, Premier

“Alberta stands united with our cattle and hog industries in our opposition to COOL, which is imposing more than a billion dollars annually in unnecessary costs and harms businesses, workers and farmers on both sides of the border. We fully support the Canadian government’s ongoing actions to bring an end to COOL and that includes implementing retaliatory trade measures on U.S. products if necessary.”

– Verlyn Olson, Minister, Agriculture and Rural Development

COOL requires that meat derived from animals born, reared or slaughtered outside the U.S. must be labelled to indicate the country or countries involved.

In November 2011, the WTO ruled that COOL is a violation of trade rules. The WTO decision was upheld in June 2012, following a U.S. appeal.

On October 20, 2014, a WTO compliance panel released its report that revised COOL measures continue to be inconsistent with the U.S. government’s trade obligations.