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Minister Ritz Continues Canada's Fight Against COOL at U.S. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Conference

DENVER, COLORADO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/31/14 -- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today addressed the U.S.'s National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) summer conference where he stressed the importance of ending the discrimination against Canadian cattle and hogs under mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) and emphasized the growing recognition that COOL is harming farmers and industry in the U.S. and Canada alike. Minister Ritz stressed that should Canada prevail in the compliance proceedings as anticipated, the Government will seek authorization from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports.

While in Denver, Minister Ritz took the opportunity to meet with key U.S. meat stakeholders, business and government leaders to discuss next steps for advocating against COOL in the coming months. Later today, Minister Ritz will also participate in a trilateral industry meeting between the NCBA, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and the Mexican Confederacion Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas.

COOL continues to significantly disrupt the North American supply chain, creating unpredictability in the market and imposed additional costs on producers on both sides of the border.

Following Canada's successful challenges of COOL at the WTO in 2011 and 2012, a WTO compliance panel was established on September 25, 2013, to determine whether the U.S. has brought COOL into conformity.

Quick Facts

--  Canada and the United States enjoy a strong trading partnership in
    agriculture. In 2013, $45.6 billion dollars in agriculture was traded
    bilaterally between our nations, $3.3 billion of which was cattle and
    beef.
--  The integrated nature of the North American supply chain supports jobs
    across the continent. Eight million American jobs depend on trade with
    Canada, including the U.S. meat processing industry.
--  COOL is costing industry on both sides of the border billions of dollars
    each year due to inefficiencies, price discounts, lost sales and added
    costs.

Quotes

"With the full support and active engagement of Canadian and U.S. industry, our government will continue to fight against this protectionist policy which is hurting producers and consumers alike. We will continue to use whatever tools necessary to achieve a fair resolution of this issue so that our livestock sectors on both sides of the border can realize their true economic potential."

- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

Contacts:
Jeff English
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

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