Canadian livestock producers celebrated victory Friday in a hard-fought battle over food labelling requirements imposed by the U.S. in 2008.
The federal government argued before the World Trade Organization that American "country of origin" labelling rules (COOL) actually worked to the detriment of the meat industry on both sides of the border by increasing costs, lowering processing efficiency and otherwise distorting trade across the Canada-U.S. border.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Trade Minister Ed Fast announced the WTO had ruled in Canada's favour at a news conference on a ranch near Airdie, Alta. on Friday morning.
Although the ruling was unanimous on all points in the case, the Americans have 60 days to file an appeal.
WTO rulings do not assess compensation or penalties. Minister Ritz said that he hopes a negotiated settlement can be reached with the Americans to implement the decision.
Good luck with that negotiated settlement, Gerry.