Farmscape for June 15, 2015
The Canadian Pork Council says passage of a bill in the U.S. Senate to repeal Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling will be a critical next step in avoiding retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. imports.
Last week, on the heels of the final World Trade Organization ruling the Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling violates U.S. trade obligations, the U.S. House of Representatives voted, by a 70 percent margin, to approve a bill to repeal sections of the law that pertain to livestock and meat.
Canadian Pork Council executive director Martin Rice says it's now up to the Senate to act.
Clip- Martin Rice- Canadian Pork Council:
The margin was seen as important because it delivers a clear signal to the Senate that, amongst those elected representatives in the House, there were well over two thirds that viewed the way to deal with this Country of Origin Labelling issue and to avoid innocent parties being affected by retaliatory tariffs is to simply repeal the aspects of the law pertaining to livestock and meat.
What follows that is something that can be determined but the view was, let's repeal it, let's stop the train that's on the track here right now heading towards retaliation.
The Senate will have to react in a similar manner by passing exactly the same bill or a version which will achieve the objective of repealing the legislation and thus removing the reason for Canada and Mexico to be continuing on this case.
Rice says, if the Senate response differs, the bill will need to make its way back to the House to resolve any differences before a final bill is signed into law.
He suggests approval by both houses before they break for their summer recess would assure that Canada and Mexico would not move to implement retaliation however, once we move into a period where authority to retaliate is granted, Canada and Mexico will face pressure to take action and will be inclined to do so.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council