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COOL caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage to pork industry: report

A report from the Canadian Pork Council calculates the financial losses to the pork industry as a result of the U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL)


Ottawa – A new report from the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) highlights the damage caused to the industry by the U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL).

The CPC released the report this week.

CPC’s chair, Jean-Guy Vincent, says that the report “documents and quantifies the cumulative impacts of COOL on Canada’s pork industry.  In the event the U.S. does not come into compliance or find resolution to the COOL dispute, the report’s findings that the current annual rate of damage accumulation is almost $500 million, can be used to estimate retaliatory tariffs on US exports to Canada,” he says.

He adds that Canada’s pork industry would like to see a resolution to the dispute and prefers to have damaging trade restrictions end as soon as possible. The industry still faces continuing damages measured in tens of millions of dollars a month.

The report also found that:

• The direct impacts on hog producers calculated from official live trade data amount to more than US$1.9 billion as of October 2012, and were expected to exceed $2 billion by the end of 2012, at the current pace of accumulation of $500 million per year

• In addition, the report estimates that  $357 million in  pork trade has been lost since the implementation of COOL, and a further $85 million in price suppression of feeder pig trade

• Additional damages from slaughter hog price suppression and indirect impacts from a reduced sow herd have not been calculated at this time.

CPC calling for effective legislated end to discrimination

The CPC, together with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, has been engaged in years of challenges and litigation to end the serious discrimination posed by COOL.

The two Canadian livestock associations have been working with allies in Canada and Mexico, as well as the U.S., to find a timely and effective legislated end to the  discrimination against Canadian feeder and slaughter hog exports which has been condemned by the World Trade Organization (WTO), says the CPC.

“We hope that the U.S. will comply quickly with its WTO obligations, but affected Canadian and Mexican industries will press their respective governments loud and hard for swift and effective retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods in the event of non-compliance. If we get to that point, imposition of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork exports could virtually eliminate existing trade. However, Canada does not need to limit retaliation to the red meat or even agriculture sectors. Goods produced by any sector will be considered as potential targets for imposition of retaliatory import tariffs,” adds CPC past chair, Jurgen Preugschas.