Posted by on Jun 18, 2015

The U.S. is now seeking WTO arbitration in response to Canada’s earlier request for retaliatory trade measures in the country-of-origin labelling (COOL) dispute. The retaliatory tariffs sought by Canada are estimated to amount to just over CAD $3 billion. The WTO, which was set to examine the approval of the proposed retaliatory tariff amounts by Canada this week must now wait for the completion of the arbitration process to deal with Canada’s retaliation request.  Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, and Gerry Ritz, Canada’s Agriculture Minister have made it clear that the U.S. will not be able to simply avoid retaliation by drawing out the process through the arbitration. In their joint statement, both Ministers stated that “the only way for the United States to avoid billions in retaliation by late summer is to ensure legislation repealing COOL passes the Senate and is signed by the President.” Although there is no set timetable for action by the U.S. Senate, a hearing on COOL has been announced for June 25, 2015.