In this file:


A report prepared for the Canadian Pork Council, which estimates the damage caused by M-COOL to Canada's pork industry, was released yesterday.


Ritz says it's too soon to consider retaliating with tariffs


… The World Trade Organization has ruled COOL contravenes trade laws and has given the U.S. until May 23 to comply with its ruling…



U.S. M-COOL Cost Canadian Swine Producers 1.9 Billion Dollars and Mounting


Ron Gietz - Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Farmscape for January 15, 2013


A livestock economist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development estimates Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling has already cost the Canadian pork industry in excess of 1.9 billion dollars.


In November 2011 the World Trade Organization determined U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling discriminates against imported livestock and last month the U.S. was given until May 23, 2013 to bring the law into compliance with WTO rules or face the prospects of retaliatory tariffs.


A report prepared for the Canadian Pork Council, which estimates the damage caused by M-COOL to Canada's pork industry, was released yesterday.


The report's author, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development livestock economist Ron Gietz, explains losses were assessed by category based on official U.S. Department of Commerce data in U.S. dollars.


Clip-Ron Gietz-Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development:

Up to and including October, 2012 we found an impact of over 10 million head of slaughter hogs.


That had a value of approximately 1.5 billion dollars.


We found an impact of 4.3 million isowean or baby feeder pigs.


That had an impact of 140 million dollars.


Those are smaller animals, therefore a lower value per head and we found an impact on feeder pigs under 50 kilograms, greater than 23 kilograms and that has impacted 5.2 million head of directly lost trade volume since that period at a value of 268 million dollars.


Adding those three categories up the total is 19.9 million head and that comes at a value of 1.9 billion.


The report will be forwarded to the federal government for use is setting retaliatory tariffs...





Pork sector reports over $2B in COOL-related losses

Ritz says it's too soon to consider retaliating with tariffs


By: Rod Nickel - Reuters

via Canadian Cattlemen - Jan 14, 2013


U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules have directly cost Canada's hog and pork industry more than $2 billion, according to a report that could help determine retaliation against U.S. exports if Washington does not change its requirements.


The U.S. must bring the labeling rules into compliance with a World Trade Organization ruling by May 23, according to a WTO decision released last month.


But citing no apparent movement by the U.S. Congress since the original WTO ruling in mid-2012, the Canadian Pork Council on Monday released an estimate of damages. The council called on Ottawa to impose retaliatory tariffs on imports from the U.S. if there is no change by the WTO deadline.


"COOL continues to cost hog and cattle producers tens of millions of dollars every month and must be dealt with sooner rather than later," said Jean-Guy Vincent, a Quebec hog farmer and chairman of the council.


The labeling program has led to a sharp reduction in U.S. imports of Canadian pigs and cattle because it has raised costs for U.S. packers by forcing them to segregate imported animals from U.S. livestock.


Some U.S. groups have said COOL offers consumers valuable information about the origin of their food.


The council's report, written by economist Ron Gietz, calculated that the labeling rules had cost Canadian farmers $2 billion in lost hog exports by the end of 2012, plus an additional $442 million in reduced pork shipments and suppressed prices for feeder pigs.


Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has soundly criticized the U.S. labeling program, but said Monday it's too early to assume the U.S. will not comply with WTO rules before the deadline.


"We expect that the U.S. will bring itself into compliance with its WTO obligations by May 23," Ritz said in an emailed statement to Reuters. "It is premature to speculate on retaliatory measures at this time."


Nkenge Harmon, a spokesperson for U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, also said it's too soon to discuss potential Canadian retaliation related to COOL.


"To determine our next steps, we are working with our colleagues at (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and consulting with relevant stakeholders, including Congress," Harmon said.


U.S. officials have previously said they intend to bring COOL into compliance by the WTO's deadline.


The WTO ruled on June 29 that the U.S. country-of-origin labeling program unfairly discriminates against Canada and Mexico because it gives less favourable treatment to beef and pork imported from those countries than to U.S. meat.


The pork council report does not address damages to the Canadian cattle industry, or to Mexico's livestock sector...





COOL not cool for pork producers

U.S. labelling rule cost industry billions


By: Martin Cash - Brandon Sun - ONLINE EDITION



The Canadian pork industry has lost about $2 billion since 2008 -- about a third of that from Manitoba -- because of mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) by the United States, according to a report produced by the Canadian Pork Council released Monday.


The World Trade Organization has ruled COOL contravenes trade laws and has given the U.S. until May 23 to comply with its ruling.


Now the Canadian pork industry is getting its ducks in a row to make sure the U.S. complies. But in case the U.S. actions are not satisfactory, officials from the Canadian hog industry made no bones about the fact it will lobby Canada's trade department to impose retaliatory tariffs.


"In the event the U.S. does not come into compliance or find resolution to the COOL dispute, the report's findings that the current annual rate of damage accumulation -- almost $500 million -- can be used to estimate retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports to Canada," stated CPC's chairman, Jean-Guy Vincent.


The differential labelling requirement of COOL requires the segregation of imported livestock, which creates additional costs for U.S. processors and producers, who then insisted on paying less for imported livestock.


In fact, many processors just cancelled their Canadian orders.


Andrew Dickson, general manager of the Manitoba Pork Council, said COOL has had a huge effect on the industry in Manitoba, which represents about one-third of the total Canadian hog and pork industry.


He said while the industry was hit by skyrocketing feed costs this year, the COOL issue caused many barns in Manitoba to close.


Dickson said an example of the immediate impact that occurred was the giant Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., which had been taking about one million Manitoba hogs per year, but immediately stopped taking the Canadian animals in the spring of 2008 when COOL regulations came into effect.


"Luckily, Maple Leaf's Brandon plant started a second shift at about the same time, or we really would have been in trouble," he said.


The study, produced by Alberta government agricultural economist Ron Gietz, showed that in addition to the close to $2 billion in lost sales of live pigs, the COOL regulations were also responsible for another $356 million in decreased pork sales to the U.S. and another $85.3 million in suppressed prices for feeder pigs.


Dickson is on his way to Minneapolis and Des Moines, Iowa, this week for a couple of major hog industry events where he'll be talking with stakeholders there. He said there are many supporters in the U.S. hog industry for the elimination of the regulations.


"The U.S. hog industry has never been supporters of COOL," Dickson said. "They want Canadian weanlings and Canadian pigs."


COOL came into effect mostly on the promptings of some western U.S. cattlemen, who believed Canadian cattle was bringing prices down.


But now that there is a WTO decision and the U.S. has run out of options to appeal, the Canadian Pork Council released its nine-page study and is starting the process of encouraging the U.S. to comply.


"Our desired resolution is to eliminate the cause of the segregation," said CPC's past chairman, Jurgen Preugschas. "We want all meat harvested in the U.S. to be eligible for one label, regardless where the animal was born."


While several industry officials said they are giving the U.S. the benefit of the doubt it will comply with the WTO ruling, they are not sitting around idly until May 23.


"We will continue to press government loud and hard for swift and effective retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods in the event of non-compliance," Preugschas said.


Industry officials said it was too early for the Canadian government to show its cards, but Peter Clark of Grey, Clark, Shih and Associates, a trade adviser to the CPC, said the Canadian government would not be limited to tariffs on the hog and pork industry but could hit a changing "carousel" of U.S. exports to Canada.



ESTIMATES of COOL damages on Canada's pork industry: