WTO hears arguments into U.S. COOL regulations

Canada puts its best foot forward at a World Trade Organization panel hearing over the U.S’s COOL regulations last week. 

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Vice President Dave Solverson tells Rural Roots Canada, the panel hearing, which took place February 18th and 19th in Switzerland went well as far as Canadian cattle producers should be concerned.

“From what we are hearing everything is going as expected, maybe even, I think we could say there was some positive sense,  there’s no ruling yet but there was some positive comments for our side from the chairman of the panel,” said Solverson.

He says it will be another month before they get a ruling and there will no doubt be an appeal by the losing side, which will drag the issue into summer and fall this year.

However, Solverson says if the ruling goes our way there is some indication that there could be some movement south of the border.

“There’s been some indication even from Democrats that if the WTO ruled in Canada and Mexico’s favour that there would be some change made to comply, but we’ve heard that before.”

Solverson says if the WTO rules in Canada’s favour and the U.S. doesn’t comply, they would then be in a position for trade retaliation, however they will not likely be in that position because of the inevitable appeal process until early next year.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says the COOL regulations are creating a negative impact of at least $100 per head.

Solverson says producers are being well represented on this issue.

“We take it very serious and we sure like to see it behind us.”