With the World Trade Organization’s ruling last week of allowing $1.01 billion annually in tariffs (Canada: $781 million and Mexico: $227 million), the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body will hold a special meeting on Dec. 18 to officially authorize Canada and Mexico to retaliate against the United States.
Once this takes place, Canada and Mexico could start applying tariffs as early as Dec. 18 but more likely Dec. 21. Both countries plan to use the carousal process in that products can be added and removed for tariffs as needed to cause the most political pain. Canada and Mexico in a joint statement called on Congress to repeal country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef and pork to avoid retaliation.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a reporter last week, “We would rather not have to engage in retaliatory measures but we certainly will stand up for our farmers, stand up for Canadians who have been unfairly addressed and affected by this legislation.”
Efforts continue by the meat industry, livestock groups, COOL Reform Coalition, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and businesses to include a COOL repeal provision in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus appropriations bill being considered by Congress. More than 240 companies and associations wrote members of the U.S. Senate asking them to repeal COOL with $1.01 billion in tariffs pending. Various pro-COOL Senators are now saying we have to avoid tariffs. The House and Senate leadership continue to work on the omnibus appropriations bill and will likely be considered on Wednesday.