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Canada Said to be Narrowing List of U.S. Goods to be Hit with Retaliatory Tariffs

Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has said that Canada is working to narrow a list of U.S. goods that could be hit with retaliatory tariffs in a dispute over U.S. mandatory country of origin labeling requirements for meat products, according to a Reuters article. The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body recently upheld a ruling that the COOL regulations violate WTO rules by discriminating against livestock imports from Canada and Mexico.

Two years ago Canada published a list of more than three dozen U.S. products that could be subject to higher tariffs in this dispute. Ritz indicated that this list will be trimmed and will likely target beef, pork, wine, mattresses, cherries and office furniture, possibly with other goods as well. Products on the original list that could therefore be dropped include certain cheese, apples, corn, rice, maple sugar and syrup, chocolate, pasta, frozen potatoes and orange juice, tomato sauces, ethyl alcohol and other spirits, jewelry, and steel products.

The sanctions still have to be approved by the WTO, which has been asked to consider the matter June 17. Ritz said the Canadian measures, which would target about $2.4 billion in U.S. exports, could be imposed within a few months. “This is a hammer we’re more than willing to swing,” the article quoted him as saying. “Hopefully cooler heads will prevail.” The U.S. Congress, meanwhile, is likely to soon consider legislation that would repeal the COOL law and avoid the sanctions.

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