Ontario Agriculture

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

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.

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 in the event the United States fails to bring the law into compliance with its international trade obligations by the May 23 deadline.

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