Canada says ready to impose tariffs on U.S. goods

Canada says ready to impose tariffs on U.S. goods

By Meatingplace Editors on 5/23/2014

Canada’s agriculture minister said his country is ready to impose tariffs on certain U.S. goods as soon it gets approval to do so from the World Trade Organization, the Calgary Herald reported.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was quoted as saying he assured U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that “Canada will not blink.” Ritz was speaking to reporters on Wednesday following the first meeting of NAFTA agriculture ministers in Mexico.

Canada is calling into question Washington’s new country-of-origin labelling law, which it contends is more restrictive and harmful to Canadian beef cattle and pigs imported into the United States than an earlier version of the legislation that was found to violate WTO rules.

The U.S. law requires meat products to be sorted, packaged and labeled separately depending on where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.

The WTO is expected to rule as early as this fall on whether Canada can go ahead with retaliatory tariffs, according to the Herald article. The government has said U.S. goods it may target include beef, pork, cereals, baked goods and fresh fruit.

Ritz also said he is calling on the Mexican government to release its own list of U.S. products it might target with tariffs, according to the paper.