Foothills MP John Barlow announced Thursday he is optimistic the United States Senate appears prepared to finally repeal the anti-trade provisions of Country of Origin Labelling (COOL), which have cost Canadian beef and pork producers more than $1 billion a year.
Earlier this month the World Trade Organization, for a fourth time, supported Canada and Mexico’s claim COOL contravenes global trading rules. In addition, the WTO ruled Canada could retaliate in the amount of $1.055 billion in tariffs on American goods imported to Canada.
After many years fighting COOL it now appears the United States Senate is prepared to repeal this protectionist anti-trade policy.
“Any delay or lack of action would be considered a betrayal to our agricultural sector,” said Barlow, deputy critic for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. “Our Canadian farmers and ranchers have suffered billions in losses as a result of the protectionist measures implemented by COOL. If the legislation put forward by the United States does not immediately repeal the provisions of COOL, we expect the Canadian government to retaliate immediately.”
Barlow, who met with representatives from Canada’s beef industry in Ottawa last week, thanked the Canadian agricultural stakeholders who have worked hard on this issue for more than a decade. It was the previous Conservative government who stood resolutely with Canadian ranchers and farmers since this damaging legislation was introduced.
The United States Senate could vote on an omni-bus appropriations bill which includes repealing country of origin labelling as early as Friday, December 18th, 2015. The House of Representatives would also have to pass the bill.