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Canada shelves COOL complaint

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Canada shelved its complaint against the U.S. COOL law, saying the new language was a victory
Canada shelved its complaint against the U.S. COOL law, saying the new language was a victory

Canada has put its complaint to the World Trade Organization about the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law on hold, saying the final language of the law is a victory for the country's exports.

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the final language of the new COOL law. Canada has cited the flexibility in the new legislation, which will give producers the option of labeling products as a U.S. and Canadian livestock combination.

The country believes this will give meat packers less of a reason to exclude Canadian meat as there is no longer the extra costs of segregation.

"We've gotten what we've asked [the U.S.] to do," Canadian agriculture minister Gerry Ritz told Reuters on Tuesday. "We should start to see live animals moving south."

Although Ritz said the WTO complaint had been "shelved," he pointed out that Canada will continue to monitor the situation and has not officially withdrawn the complaint.

At the end of 2008, Canada and Mexico filed complaints to the WTO saying the new U.S. COOL law discriminated against their meat exports. There has been no word on if Mexico has plans to put its complain on hold.
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