|The Canadian Press. A butcher cuts New York Strip from Canadian beef at a butcher shop in Toronto, May 23, 2003.|
Canada has won a battle in an ongoing trade dispute with the United States over meat-labelling laws that have hurt the beef and pork industries.
The World Trade Organization released a ruling Monday that said U.S. country-of-origin labelling (COOL) rules discriminate against exports from Canada and Mexico.
The rules, which went into effect in 2008 and were updated last year, are blamed by the Canadian meat industry for reducing exports to the U.S. by half.
The WTO compliance panel said COOL breaks trade rules because it treats Canadian and Mexican livestock less favourably than U.S. livestock.
The panel said changes the U.S. made to the rules last year made the policy even more detrimental to livestock exporters.
“The compliance panel concluded that the amended COOL measure increases the original COOL measure’s detrimental impact on the competitive opportunities of imported livestock in the U.S. market,” the panel said.
“It necessitates increased segregation of meat and livestock in the U.S. market, entails a higher record-keeping burden and increases the original COOL measure’s incentive to choose domestic over imported livestock.”
The federal government hailed the ruling Monday and called on the United States to comply with the WTO decision.