As expected, Canada's government has developed a lengthy list of U.S. commodities that it may target in retaliation to the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules, which Canadian Ag Minister Gerry Ritz says do not bring the U.S. into compliance with an earlier World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.
If the WTO approves, Canada will impose tariffs on U.S. beef, pork, live hogs and cattle, corn, dairy products, some fruit and many other products. Mexico is also expected to retaliate, although the list of items may differ, according to Ritz.
Following is the statement on the matter by Minister of International Trade Ed Fast and Ritz:
"Despite consistent rulings by the World Trade Organization, the U.S. government continues its unfair trade practices, which are severely damaging to Canadian industry and jobs.
"Our government is extremely disappointed that the United States continues to uphold this protectionist policy, which the WTO has ruled to be unfair, and we call on the United States to abide by the WTO ruling.
"We are preparing to launch the next phase of the WTO dispute settlement process on the new U.S. rule, which we had hoped to avoid by the United States living up to its trade obligations.
"The Canadian government, with the full support and active engagement of Canadian industry, has fought against this unfair treatment, which is also hurting U.S. industry and consumers.
"When the United States failed to comply by the May 23 deadline, we said we would pursue all options available. Today, we are also releasing a list of U.S. commodities for possible retaliation, to be published as soon as possible in the Canada Gazette, as a way to formally launch the consultation process.
"Our government will continue to consult with stakeholders as we pursue a fair resolution of this issue through the WTO over the next 18 to 24 months. To respect Canada’s WTO obligations, our government will not act on these retaliatory measures until the WTO authorizes us to do so."