US - The President of the US National Farmers Union recently presented the findings of a study into the effects of Country-of-Origin Labelling (COOL) on cattle trading with Canada.
NFU President Roger Johnson presented the results at a U.S. House Committee on Agriculture hearing. The econometric study showed COOL did not have a negative impact on Canadian cattle exports to the US.
Mr Johnson also urged the committee to wait for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to rule on COOL, as Canada and Mexico cannot retaliate if no damages are found.
COOL regulations have been the subject of disputes between the countries since 2008. The WTO found in 2013 that the labelling had given less favourable treatment to Canadian and Mexican livestock than US livestock, thus violating the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement.
Mr Johnson said: “The results of the recent study done on COOL by C. Robert Taylor, Ph.D., a professor at Auburn University, refute Canadian claims of economic damage to their beef exports to America.
Mr Johnson noted that Canada and Mexico, the two challengers to COOL at the WTO, would need to prove economic damage as a result of COOL in order to impose the trade retaliations they have been threatening through statements and visits to the offices of American lawmakers.
“Dr. Taylor’s report found that the fed cattle price basis actually declined after COOL went into effect; that COOL had no negative impact on imports of slaughter cattle; and that COOL did not significantly affect imports of feeder cattle,” said Mr Johnson.
Johnson noted that it would be highly unconventional for Congress to intervene in the WTO process until the WTO issues its final decision.
“The WTO has stated multiple times that countries have a right to label products with their country of origin and remain in compliance with WTO,” said Johnson. “We urge Congress to allow the WTO process to run its course.”
TheCattleSite News Desk
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