Trade war with U.S. likely averted: American bill would repeal meat labels

WASHINGTON -- A trade war between Canada and the U.S. appears to have been averted.

The U.S. Congress has drafted legislation that responds to Canadian and Mexican demands on meat labelling, the subject of a dispute at the World Trade Organization.

See Full Article

The bill would repeal mandatory country-of-origin labelling on beef and pork, should it pass a vote in the coming days.

That provision is embedded in two pages of a monster 2,000-page bill crafted in marathon negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders.

Canada and Mexico had been poised to immediately impose $1 billion in tariffs on a wide range of American products including wine and frozen orange juice following wins at the WTO.

Canada's ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer, welcomed the news but said he wouldn't be celebrating until the bill passes both chambers of Congress and gets signed by the president.

Votes on the bill could happen later this week, or early next week.

Supporters of country-of-origin labelling say consumers deserve to know where their meat comes from. Opponents say it doesn't do anything for safety -- for which there are inspections.

Those critics call it a thinly disguised protectionist measure, designed to complicate importing meat from abroad into the U.S. They say Canadian meat exports plummeted as a result of decade-old country-of-origin labelling rules.

John Masswohl of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association pointed to the example of Tyson Foods. He said Canada used to export beef to four of its U.S. facilities, and now exports to only two -- and only on one day per week, so that it can segregate Canadian cows from American ones and apply the proper country-of-origin labels.

"We think this is going to have a huge impact," Masswohl said in an interview Wednesday.

"And it could have a pretty immediate impact in terms of the prices we receive."

The bill lifts beef and pork from the list of products subject to country-of-origin labelling requirements. But that's only one provision in a major piece of legislation that will keep the U.S. government funded.

It might be most remembered in the U.S. for another provision: a relaxing of the 40-year-old quasi-total ban on oil exports from the U.S., imposed amid the energy scare of the 1970s.

That provision could have a huge impact on American energy exports, not to mention a trickle-down effect on the U.S.'s biggest oil supplier: Canada.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Beer at the barbershop? Relaxed B.C. liquor laws come into effect Monday

    Economic CTV News
    British Columbia small business owners and their clients say they’re excited about relaxed liquor regulations coming into effect on Monday. One of the biggest changes will allow any business to apply for a liquor licence. Source
  • Note 7 battery design and manufacturing caused fires: Samsung

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Samsung Electronics Co. says problems with the design and manufacturing of batteries in its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones caused them to overheat and burst into fire. The announcement Monday of the company's investigation into one of its worst product fiascos comes three months after the flagship phone was discontinued. Source
  • Hackers claim to take down oil company website over soccer

    Economic CTV News
    LIBREVILLE, Gabon -- Hackers said they took out the website of French oil company Total on Sunday over its sponsorship of the ongoing African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in the central African country of Gabon. Source
  • Trump's victory creates uncertainty for wind and solar power

    Economic CTV News
    HONOLULU -- President Donald Trump has disputed climate change, pledged a revival of coal and disparaged wind power, and his nominee to head the Energy Department was once highly skeptical of the agency's value. What this means for states' efforts to promote renewable energy is an open question. Source
  • OPEC, allies says production cuts ahead of schedule

    Economic CTV News
    VIENNA -- OPEC and key non-OPEC oil producers are near their target of taking 1.8 million barrels of crude a day off global markets less than two months after agreeing to do so in efforts to push up the price of crude, Russia's energy minister said Sunday. Source
  • Non-browning apple coming to U.S. next month but Canada will have to wait

    Economic CBC News
    The genetically modified non-browning apples a B.C. man has been developing for more than two decades will finally show up on some U.S. produce shelves next month. But Canada will have to wait to take its bite. Source
  • Tax scams and testing 'the Trump effect': CBC Marketplace's consumer cheat sheet

    Economic CBC News
    Miss something this week? We got you. Here's this week's Marketplace cheat sheet. Get this in your inbox every Friday. Sign up for the Marketplace newsletter. Poor puppy Liza Shepherd holds up picture of Abby, the Bernese Mountain Dog cross that cost her $6,000 in vet bills. Source
  • How to fight back against rising bank fees on chequing accounts

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's big banks continue to enjoy big profits. But that hasn't stopped them from charging customers a host of personal banking fees. In fact, fees have become an ever more important part of their revenues. Source
  • Bogus bongs or bogus lawsuits? Pipe maker sues over fakes

    Economic CTV News
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Don't want to bum your buzz, but that expensive bong you got cheap to smoke your pot may be bogus. High-end German glass water pipe maker Roor and its American licensee are filing lawsuits against smoke shops and mom-and-pop convenience stores in Florida, California and New York. Source
  • 'There isn't a best card out there': How to choose a credit card that works for you

    Economic CBC News
    Credit cards are sometimes lambasted as high-cost consumer debt that can quickly get borrowers into trouble. But if you pay off the balance each month, credit cards can also have significant perks. Loyalty programs like Air Miles, which has both a standalone program and partnerships with credit cards, have drawn a lot of criticism lately, but Canadians are still attached to credit cards that offer rewards. Source