Farmers welcome WTO ruling on Country-of-Origin Labelling

REGINA/OTTAWA, Nov. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) welcomes the ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the U.S. Country-of-Origin Labelling (COOL) measure is inconsistent with its WTO trade obligations.

"Our farm members, and in particular our cattle and hog producers, are pleased with this WTO decision," said Virginia Labbie, CFIB's senior policy analyst for agri-business. "COOL has created a lot of uncertainty in the industry and has been a top-of-mind concern for our members for the past several years."

"In fact, when CFIB surveyed its farm members on mandatory Country-of-Origin Labelling, the majority of our livestock owners said that COOL would have a negative or very negative impact on their agri-business," noted Labbie. "The compliance costs and onerous regulatory burden created by COOL has had a huge impact on our farm members' bottom line and their ability to compete in the marketplace."

"We commend the federal government for their efforts and strong stand in this trade dispute," stated Labbie. In a recent survey on business risk management programs, CFIB's farm members were asked what role government should play in assisting producers in managing risks. The feedback was very clear - 74 per cent said governments should address actions of foreign governments.

"This decision provides a lot of hope for our farm and agri-business members across the country. We certainly encourage the United States to work quickly to conform to its WTO obligations," concluded Labbie.

CFIB is the business voice for agriculture, representing 7,200 independently owned and operated agri-businesses in Canada, the majority of which are primary producers.

SOURCE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

For further information or to arrange an interview with Virginia Labbie, please call 306 757-0000 or 1-800-992-2342 or via email public.affairs@cfib.ca

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CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

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