(file photo: coutesy Steinbach online)

The Canadian government has formally asked the World Trade Organization to determine whether the United States has complied with the earlier WTO ruling on country of origin labeling.

The WTO dispute panel last year ruled that COOL discriminates against Canadian cattle and hogs. In response, the US introduced amendments to COOL in May that the American government argues have brought COOL into compliance with the WTO ruling. However, the Canadian government and livestock industry say the measures further hinder livestock trade.

Ottawa yesterday requested the establishment of a WTO compliance panel to review the current status of the labeling requirements. The panel, which will likely have the same members as the original dispute panel that ruled in Canada's favour, will begin considering the case on August 30th.

The Canadian government has already published a list of US-made products that will face retaliatory tariffs if the WTO rules in Canada's favour.

By discounting the value of Canadian livestock in the US, it's estimated COOL is costing Canadian producers at least a billion dollars per year.