Canada COOL challenge

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Alberta farmer

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Apparently Canada finally filed a challenge with the WTO over the COOL law on Oct 7th? I don't know if this is a good thing or not...suspect it has a lot more to do with the Liberal party hammering the Conservatives over their "do nothing" attitude towards Canadian agriculture.
I doubt it will accomplish anything, but you never know...strange things happen at the WTO!
Not sure what it would mean if the WTO ruled in Canadas favor? Would Canada be allowed to retaliate with tariffs or something? How would that help the Canadian consumer or the Canadian livestock producer? To tell you the truth I don't think a lot of people up here really care anymore.
 

Oldtimer

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Wouldn't it be great if Canada would just enact a similar M-COOL law (like the majority of the countries of the world have) and we'd be back on even keel- and the purchasing decision would be left to the consumers- rather than a bunch of government and world trade bureaucrats spending millions $ that could be better utilyzed by folks in the industry... :???:

October 7, 2009 Phone: 406-672-8969; [email protected]



Yet Again, Canada Tries to File WTO Complaint Against U.S. COOL Law



Billings, Mont. – The Canadian government is seeking a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement process over the U.S. mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law. A WTO panel is scheduled to hear the request at the Oct. 23, 2009, meeting of WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body.

A joint statement issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) indicates that both departments agree that the U.S. COOL law provides information to consumers in a manner that is consistent with WTO commitments, and also that countries have recognized COOL as a legitimate policy long before the WTO ever existed.

“We are pleased that both USDA and USTR are taking a strong stand to defend our constitutional right to pass and implement the U.S. COOL law that provides U.S. consumers with important information regarding where their food is grown and produced,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. “We urge both departments to take deliberate and decisive steps to quash Canada’s attempt to interfere with the United States’ sovereign right to inform U.S. consumers about the origins of the food they purchase for themselves and their families.

“We believe the complaints by Canada against the U.S. COOL law are baseless,” he continued. “Unfortunately, this WTO dispute procedure grants Canada an overly simplified forum to retaliate against U.S. citizens’ exercise of their constitutional rights.

“This action by Canada should give considerable pause to those elected officials who have unwittingly transferred our sovereign right of self-government to an international tribunal,” Bullard pointed out. “We are now in the unenviable position of awaiting a decision from the WTO to determine if our right to self government is absolute, or if we must kowtow to a higher, international power that no U.S. citizen has ever voted for. This attack by Canada strikes at the heart of American sovereignty.”

It is important to note that:

1) The U.S. COOL law imposes no duty or restrictions on any foreign government, nor imposes any limits on the volume or type of commodities that a foreign country may export to the United States.

2) Foreign countries are not obligated, in any way, to export to the U.S. any of the commodities subject to the U.S. COOL law – hence, a foreign country’s decision to market its products in the U.S. market and under the rules of the U.S. market is purely voluntary.



And, 3) COOL jurisdiction is exclusively limited to U.S. retailers, as defined exclusively by U.S. law, and subjects all covered commodities marketed by U.S. retailers to identical information requirements, regardless of where the commodities originate.



“Thus, our domestic COOL law does not affect international trade agreements, and it is fundamentally inappropriate for the WTO to even entertain a foreign country’s complaint against our domestic COOL law,” Bullard emphasized.



“COOL enables consumers to freely choose between food products of various origins,” he concluded. “Consumers’ choices will influence the market demand for products from any given country. This is how a competitive market is supposed to work, and neither Canada nor the WTO has any right to take that competitive market away from U.S. consumers.”



To view/download R-CALF USA’s June 1, 2009, presentation to USTR on these matters, please visit this link: http://www.r-calfusa.com/Trade/090601-P ... ToUSTR.pdf.



Also, to view/download a complete version of R-CALF USA’s formal comments to USTR filed on July 1, 2009, please go to:

http://www.r-calfusa.com/COOL/090701%20 ... 0Final.pdf.
 
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Well like I said I guess the WTO will decide and I guess America and Canada will probably have to live with that decision? Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I think if the US loses and won't go along with the decision, the WTO can impose tariffs on USA products entering Canada?
My question about that is this: How does that help the average Canadian consumer? If for example Canada was allowed to add a tariff to US fruit and vegetables....and I get to pay another 20% when I go buy my oranges or lettuce....how does that help me? Where does the tariff money go...to the Canadian feds? That sounds good...they can probably build another bridge or something in Quebec!
Do you see my point? No one wins in this game.
Maybe Canada is too much of a sucker or something? We let beef in from just about every Tom, Dick, or Harry that doesn't meet the standards our own beef must meet. It's almost like our government wants to get rid of us....Hmmm...I think I finally got it!
 

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Alberta farmer":ifg34oje said:
Maybe Canada is too much of a sucker or something? We let beef in from just about every Tom, Dick, or Harry that doesn't meet the standards our own beef must meet. It's almost like our government wants to get rid of us....Hmmm...I think I finally got it!

Yep I think you finally got it...Thats the reason the Big Multinational Corporate Packers have fought M-COOL so hard- so they can source beef/meat from any place in the world where its cheaper- and pass it off as a domestic raised product to the consumers of the US and Canada-- and thereby leverage down the price they pay to US/Canadian producers....

The answer would be for both countries to pass and enforce a strong M-COOL law- so that we can identify OUR product from the "phoney balony" and promote OUR product....Let the consumers make the final decision...

And its my belief- that in many cases the consumers will choose their own domestic US/Canadian product over Mexican, Uruguyan, Vietnamese, etc. etc- any of the 47 other countries the US imports beef/meat from......
 
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MCOOL has hurt the industry up here without a doubt, but it was going to pot anyway. It sure has let our own little "multi-national packer" XL operate like the big boys JBS, Cargill, Tyson!
I don't think it is all that rosy in the USA either from what I read about prices in the USA?
When the cow herd gets reduced in a big way the price should go back up...but that won't happen if the big guys can bring in the junk from South America. I believe if there is a North American beef shortage and prices start to rise, suddenly the US and Canadian governments will decide well maybe that old foot and mouth thing really isn't a problem after all and hey we've got to feed the people!
I sure wish our darned governments would quit trying to destroy us.
 

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[quot
Alberta farmer":2prl2yzt said:
I sure wish our darned governments would quit trying to destroy us.
e

I like this point. Governments should have the citizen's best in mind, right? And the people should be able to work together? Thanks for writing this.
 

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Dairy Country of Origin Labeling Bill Introduced



By Jim Dickrell, editor Dairy Today

AgWeb

10/16/2009



Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced legislation that would extend mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) to dairy products.



To date, dairy products have been exempt from the controversial legislation which has already sparked World Trade Organization challenges from Canada.



And, in another bit of irony, dairy imports have actually declined this year. Nevertheless, Brown, Feingold and Franken say their bill protects both U.S. dairy farmers and consumers.



COOL “provides critical information as households decide how to feed their families,” says Brown.



“With the discovery last year of widespread use of melamine in Chinese dairy products, consumers deserve to know whether the milk used to produce the dairy products they buy meets the high safety standards used in the United States,” says Feingold.



“This legislation will help American dairy farmers stand out in a crowded marketplace,” adds Franken. “They need every tool at their disposal to weather the current dairy crisis.”

http://www.ellinghuysen.com/news/articles/92418.shtml
 

Oldtimer

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Alberta farmer":mcg3ppkf said:
MCOOL has hurt the industry up here without a doubt, but it was going to pot anyway. It sure has let our own little "multi-national packer" XL operate like the big boys JBS, Cargill, Tyson!
I don't think it is all that rosy in the USA either from what I read about prices in the USA?
When the cow herd gets reduced in a big way the price should go back up...but that won't happen if the big guys can bring in the junk from South America. I believe if there is a North American beef shortage and prices start to rise, suddenly the US and Canadian governments will decide well maybe that old foot and mouth thing really isn't a problem after all and hey we've got to feed the people!
I sure wish our darned governments would quit trying to destroy us.

I was perusing one of the websites the other day that said Canfax was reporting that in 1999 the producer received 24% share of the retail beef price-- and that now 10 years later that percentage is 16%...

By simply restoring the 16% share producers get today back to the 24% they got in 1999 producers would earn $550 more per fed animal than they do now. This is where the missing money goes that is bankrupting ranchers - imagine distributing $550 per animal back through the chain to feedlot operators and ranchers. We wont be greedy - let the feedlots keep $250 and let ranchers keep $300 extra on every calf or feeder animal sold - would make quite a difference to economics wouldn't it?

I doubt if it differs much down in the states either with our continuing loss of competition....The trickle down effect has been broken for years with governments failure to enforce anti-trust laws- and soon it won't even be able to be called a trickle...
 

ollie?

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Oldtimer":2j3313hg said:
“This action by Canada should give considerable pause to those elected officials who have unwittingly transferred our sovereign right of self-government to an international tribunal,” Bullard pointed out. [/b]
I got one better than that for you Oldtimer. Obama has (without constitutional authority) installed Czars to help run our own government. No one voted on them either but some morons unwittingly voted for Obama. Can you believe that? We as Americans better be sweeping our own doorstep before we worry about our northern neighbor and some small beef spat.
 
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Oldtimer: Looking at your fat prices I doubt the figures are much different. I'm not sure about retail prices in the USA today but a few years ago they were slightly higher than what central Alberta super market prices were...I doubt that has changed? I don't go down to Great Falls anymore...the stupid border crossing thing gets me ticked off.
Like I said before COOL didn't help but we were going in the tank anyway. When there are basically only two packer buyers at the sale the bidding isn't exactly robust! It's sort of you take this one and I'll get the next one!
Personally I think it is a scandal what the packers are paying for fat cattle...and an even bigger scandal what they pay for cull cows? I would suspect the North American cow is so cheap now that it wouldn't even be possible to ship those old cheap South American cows up here at a profit!
Most people have no clue that a cull cow isn't just hamburger. The fact is very little of that old cow goes into the grinder? That tasty steak sandwitch you buy at the bar for $12 for a six ounce steak is for sure off some old cow. That $6 Subway sandwitch with a 3 ounce portion of shaved beef is cow! So the cow steak at the bar sells for $32/lb.! take off a few dimes for some fries, a few frozen veggies, and some ketchup and HP sauce, plus pay someone minimum wage to cook it and serve it and it gets pretty lucrative...when you paid the farmer 33 cents/lb. for the old cow! I imagine on the sandwitch the profit is pretty good too?
I know a little bit about the fast food business, as I was involved on a limited scale. The markup on a hamburger or hot dog is unbelievable. I believe the cost of a cheesburger with condiments is less than $1 and a hotdog is less than 60 cents....cheeseburger sells for $4.50...hotdog with condiments $3.00!
And before you ask...No I didn't work at MacDonalds! LOL
 

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U.S. Blocks Canada & Mexico’s Request For WTO To Review COOL
10/23/2009

Reuters reports the United States has blocked a request Mexico and Canada submitted to the World Trade Organization to review new Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules for all meat imported to the U.S.

WTO allows the plantiff to reject the first request submitted in a dispute, but a second request may be filed at the next WTO meeting held on November 19. The COOL rules create more steps for meat processors which can be skipped by purchasing U.S. beef. Canada claims that both cattle and pig exports have taken a hit.

Both Canada and Mexico say the COOL rules have drastically reduced the amount of beef sent to the U.S. Canada and the U.S. are each other’s primary agricultural trading partner, trade between the two totaled $37 billion in 2008. COOL requires meat sold in stores to be labeled with where it was produced.

"COOL is discouraging U.S. retailers, processors, feedlots and producers from buying Canadian livestock and meat. The negative impact on Canadian beef, pork and cattle exporters has been significant," Canada said in a statement to the dispute body.

Source: Reuters.com
 

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