Farmscape for December 10, 2014
The president of Paragon Economics expects the U.S. Congress to make changes to Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling before Canada and Mexico impose retaliatory tariffs on imported U.S. products.
Last month the United States filed an appeal of the latest World Trade Organization ruling that Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling violates U.S. international trading agreements.
If the U.S. loses Canada and Mexico will seek authority to impose retaliatory tariffs on imported U.S. products.
Dr. Steve Meyer, the president of Paragon Economics, is confident changes will be made before it gets that far.
Clip-Dr. Steve Meyer-Paragon Economics:
I had hoped our government would accept the decision of the WTO and just go on and get to the work of changing it.
They have filed an appeal which, if nothing else, has been done to buy a little time and figure out what to do.
It does sound like most of the decision makers here in the United States have finally come to the realization that they probably can't write an administrative rule that satisfies WTO and the letter of the law.
I think we'll get to the 11th hour and cooler heads will prevail in Congress.
We've even had some of the people who have been staunch supporters of Country of Origin Labelling saying well, I guess we'll have to do something different.
If that's the case then we'll make that decision but I think it's going to be at the 11th hour.
I would certainly hope that we can take some sort of action that would avoid retaliatory tariffs.
It's not just going to be a problem with the beef and pork industries.
A lot of other industries are going to be impacted by this because Mexico and Canada have rightly and wisely broadened the scope of those retaliations to try to extract a pound of flesh from a number of places so we can get some action on this.
Dr. Meyer observes, once a law is passed, it's difficult to repeal and in its ruling the WTO recognized informing consumers about the origin of products is acceptable but not in this way which adds credence to keeping the law but changing it to meet WTO standards.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council