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

  • New York fines BNP Paribas $350 million in trading scheme

    Economic CTV News
    New York state regulators have fined French bank BNP Paribas $350 million, alleging bank employees for years manipulated global currency markets to benefit themselves at the expense of their customers. The New York Department of Financial Services said Wednesday that from 2007 to 2013 at least a dozen BNP Paribas traders manipulated the foreign exchange market, using chat rooms and fake trades in currencies including the South African rand, Hungarian forint and Turkish lira. Source
  • Bombardier and U.S. aerospace supplier Triumph settle legal dispute

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Bombardier and Triumph have reached a settlement about five months after the U.S. aerospace supplier filed a $455-million lawsuit against the Quebec-based aircraft manufacturer. Details of the settlement announced Wednesday were not disclosed. Source
  • New TD call centre will create 575 jobs in Moncton, N.B., province says

    Economic CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- TD has announced plans for a new call centre in Moncton, N.B., that the provincial government says will create up to 575 full-time jobs. The Toronto-based bank will receive up to $9 million in financial assistance from the government, which says the call centre will add $109-million to the province's GDP over six years. Source
  • Graco recalls My Ride 65 car seats in Canada for restraint defect

    Economic CBC News
    Graco's Canadian division is recalling 1,393 car seats with defective harness restraints. The recall affects certain "My Ride 65" model car seats manufactured between May 14, 2014 and July 30, 2014, according to a safety advisory from Graco. Source
  • OPEC nearing deal to extend oil output cut to March 2018

    Economic CBC News
    OPEC and non-member oil producers moved closer on Wednesday to clinching a deal on extending output cuts by nine months to clear a global stocks overhang and prop up the price of crude. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets in Vienna on Thursday to consider whether to prolong the accord reached in December in which OPEC and 11 non-members agreed to cut oil output by about 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017. Source
  • Moody's cuts China credit rating over rising debt

    Economic CBC News
    The Moody's ratings agency on Wednesday cut China's credit rating due to surging debt, prompting a protest by Beijing and highlighting challenges faced by communist leaders as they overhaul a slowing economy. The downgrade adds to warnings about China's reliance on credit to propel growth after the 2008 global crisis. Source
  • 'The Bank of Canada is not spooked' : Why the central bank is holding rates steady

    Economic CBC News
    The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate steady on Wednesday, but signalled that could change once the weak U.S. economy starts to rebound as expected through the latter part of the year. Canada's central bank kept its target for the overnight rate steady at 0.5 per cent on Wednesday, the same level it's been at since the middle of 2015, because the economy isn't showing any signs of needing any more or any less stimulus. Source
  • Ottawa offers $950 million for 'superclusters' to create jobs

    Economic CBC News
    The federal government is spending $950 million to fund an "Innovation Superclusters Initiative" that it says will "create more middle-class jobs and more opportunities for Canadian businesses to grow into globally successful brands." Minister of innovation, science and economic development Navdeep Bains made the announcement at the offices of BlackBerry QNX in Kanata, Ont. Source
  • 'Do you want to get thrown off?': Airlines can prohibit passengers from shooting video

    Economic CTV News
    DALLAS -- Without the shocking video, it's unlikely that the world would have learned or cared about the violent manhandling of a 69-year-old man on a plane last month. The outrage on social media, the mea culpa by an airline CEO, the promise to treat customers better -- none of it would have happened. Source
  • OPEC likely to extend output cuts, but price relief elusive

    Economic CTV News
    VIENNA -- OPEC oil ministers meeting this week appear damned if they don't extend production cuts -- and only slightly less damned if they do. Ministers of the 13-nation cartel will likely decide to prolong them in an effort to support prices, when they meet Thursday. Source