Monday, September 20, 2010

Canada’s Data Undisputed on Damages Following COOL

(Country Guide)

The U.S. government hasn’t challenged Canada’s “economic evidence” of the harm caused by mandatory country-of-origin labelling (COOL), but blames “market participants” rather than COOL itself, Canada’s cattle agency reports.

Attending the first round of oral hearings in a challenge of U.S. COOL by Canada and Mexico at a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said Canada’s team was solid in its preparations and professional in refuting the U.S. team’s “creative suggestions.” “We correctly anticipated the arguments the U.S. would use to defend COOL and while there were no surprises, it is clear that the U.S. intends to defend this trade barrier vigorously,” CCA president Travis Toews said in a release Friday.

According to the CCA, Washington’s defense of COOL at the dispute settlement body’s hearings in Geneva, Switzerland was to claim that COOL is designed to inform consumers, not restrict trade, and that it hasn’t directly caused any segregation or other negative impact on Canadian cattle. Canada retorted that the market reaction to COOL was “not only predictable but in fact the intended outcome of COOL’s proponents,” the CCA said. Read more here.