Statement from NCBA President on the Canadian Government's Release of List of U.S. Commodities for Possible Retaliation
WASHINGTON – Today the Canadian government released a statement in response to the submission of the amended rule on Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) to the World Trade Organization (WTO). National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President and Cody, Wyo. cattle and dairy producer, Scott George issued the following statement.
“Cattlemen and women have long known MCOOL not only violates our international trade obligations, but also that it provides no value to the consumer. It is a failed experiment in boosting beef demand and a tremendously successful experiment in creating a trade barrier.”
“NCBA does not oppose voluntary country of origin labeling, but it is a marketing tool not a food safety program. And as a marketing tool, it needs to be run by beef producers and processors, not codified into law or administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). MCOOL is not market or consumer driven and it does not fit within our international trading obligations.”
Canada’s government has stated that they are ready to proceed with the next phase of the WTO dispute settlement process on the amended MCOOL rule and has set a list of products for possible retaliatory tariffs. The list includes: beef, pork and chicken in addition to a wide range of grains, fruits and dairy products.
“This list of products brings home the real-world consequences of the USDA’s adherence to MCOOL. Our members have warned both the USDA and members of Congress that should this program continue, there will be a true cost to not only cattle and pork producers but to many other segments of the U.S. economy as well. This is too high a price to pay for a program that has proven it has no value.”