For Immediate Release
SARM Pleased with Repeal of COOL
The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is pleased with the news that the United States has repealed mandatory country of origin labelling (COOL). Last week, the U.S. Senate passed an omnibus bill that included an amendment to repeal mandatory COOL. President Obama signed the bill shortly after, making the repeal of COOL official.
SARM shared in the Government of Canada’s position that U.S. mandatory COOL discriminated against Canadian livestock. COOL required producers, processors, distributors, and retailers in the U.S. meat supply chain to segregate Canadian animals from American animals, therefore incurring more costs throughout the entire chain. The federal government estimated that COOL cost Canada’s livestock industry more than $3 billion annually.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) also found COOL discriminatory, ruling four times that COOL discriminates against Canadian livestock and violates the United States’ trade obligations. Most recently, the WTO ruled that Canada could impose retaliatory tariffs on $1.052 billion of American exports to Canada.
“Repealing COOL is good for Saskatchewan producers, the province, and the Canadian economy as a whole,” said SARM President Ray Orb. “We understand that the U.S. packing industry will need some time to increase the share of Canadian cattle being processed, but we are confident that the industry will sort itself out and soon it will be businesses as usual between Canada and the United States’ integrated livestock industries.”
SARM has followed this file closely for nearly a decade, and would like to thank Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay for their recent work on the issue, as well as former International Trade Minister Ed Fast and former Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz for their diligence on this file in past years.
For more information please contact:
“SARM, the Voice of Rural Saskatchewan”