Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Canada’s Beef Industry Calls on Ottawa to File Trade Challenge Against U.S.

(The Canadian Press)

Only a week after expressing hope that U.S. President Barack Obama would soften a trade rule that is already hurting Canada's ailing beef industry, worried producers say they've learned that Washington's final plan will hurt them even more.

The final U.S. Country-Of-Origin-Labelling rule, which takes effect March 16, would effectively force all American meat companies to label beef with a sticker that states where the product came from, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association said Tuesday.

Some companies have already stopped buying Canadian beef and cattle due to the extra cost of meeting an interim version of the trade rule that was introduced in September. The final rule will be even more costly and onerous, CCA President Brad Wildeman said Tuesday.

“The association is calling for the Canadian government to undertake all available actions, including an early resumption of a World Trade Organization challenge against these U.S. trade restrictive actions,” Mr. Wildeman said in a news release. Read more here.