Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart and Minister responsible for Trade Tim McMillan expressed extreme disappointment that the United States has not fixed protectionist Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) provisions in its farm bill.
The Ministers also reaffirmed Saskatchewan’s support for the federal government’s proposed retaliatory measures against the United States in response to COOL.
Farm bill negotiations were the appropriate opportunity to remove the discrimination and damages that COOL has caused, and will continue to cause, the Canadian and Saskatchewan livestock industry.
It is estimated that COOL has cost the Canadian cattle industry $1 billion per year since 2008.
“We have historically shared a strong agricultural partnership with the U.S., they remain our biggest trading partner, and we are dependent on one another for the shared success of our agriculture industries,” Stewart said. “However, COOL legislation is simply a protectionist measure that has cost our producers billions of dollars and will continue to cause significant hardship to our industry. We will continue to do all we can to stand up for our producers and we encourage the federal government to move forward with retaliation.”
“We are very disappointed the U.S. federal government has refused to change their protectionist position on COOL, which is clearly a violation of their trade obligations,” McMillan said. “We fully support the federal government in pursuing retaliatory measures in an effort to achieve a fair resolution.”