US mandatory country of origin labelling (MCOOL) has done serious financial damage to the Canadian pork sector, according to a new report released by the Canadian Pork Council (CPC).
The report said that MCOOL had caused US$1.9bn of direct damages to pork producers in the period to October 2012, with million of dollars also lost by the pig feed industry. It warned that while MCOOL remained in place, losses would continue to accumulate, and estimated that total damages for 2012 could reach nearly $2bn.
It also pointed out that data from Statistics Canada showed that the Canadian sow breeding herd has shrunk by 15% since the MCOOL laws were introduced by the US, while the US sow herd had only shrunk by 2%.
“MCOOL has taken a heavy toll on Canada’s swine industry. In fact, it is apparent that Canada’s swine producers have borne the brunt of MCOOL’s negative impacts on the livestock sector,” it said.
The report concluded with a call for “a timely resolution to the dispute and an end to the damaging trade restrictions as soon as possible”.
The World Trade Organization has ruled that US MCOOL laws violate its obligations under international trade agreements. The US has until 23 May 2013 to comply with this ruling.