Alberta government opposed to mandatory country of origin labelling

By David Opinko - Lethbridge News Now
June 29, 2019 - 12:04pm

LETHBRIDGE, AB – The Government of Alberta is expressing “strong opposition” to reports that country of original labelling (COOL) could become mandatory across North America.

Although it is already the law in Canada that certain food products wholly manufactured elsewhere must indicate which foreign state it came from, negotiations are ongoing to add something similar to it to the Canada-United States-Mexico (CUSMA) trade agreement.

“American and Canadian consumers benefit immensely from the current agricultural trade between our two nations,” says Alberta’s Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Tourism Tanya Fir. “Raising barriers to that trade is bad for the economies of Canada and the United States.”

Canadian regulations include products like wine and brandy, dairy, honey, fish and seafood, both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat products, and maple.

The provincial government claims that the U.S.’s “failed” mandatory COOL law would add billions of dollars in additional costs for both Canadian and American industries with “no measurable consumer benefit.”

They believe this would increase prices for products like beef and pork.

“The members of Congress pushing this need to realize it isn’t something industry in Canada or the U.S. want to revisit,” adds American Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Devin Dreeshen. “It isn’t consistent with American trade obligations, and it isn’t good for farmers in either country who want a fair and predictable trade relationship.”

The COOL rules in the U.S. were repealed in 2015.

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