The World Trade Organization has released its ruling in the dispute between Canada and the U.S over Country of Origin Labelling (COOL). It authorizes Canada to take retaliatory tariff measures against the U.S. that might result in higher food costs for our members.

The full ruling can be read here.

Restaurants Canada is concerned these retaliatory measures will hurt Canadian food businesses and their customers as much as it will U.S. businesses. We wrote to the new ministers of agriculture and trade, together with other industry associations, to ask that they pressure the U.S. government in ways that won’t impact food and wine supplies.

The Ministers responded by saying if the U.S. Senate doesn’t repeal COOL for beef and pork immediately, Canada will retaliate.

The WTO has repeatedly ruled that COOL discriminates against Canadian meat exports to the U.S. The Canadian government has proposed a retaliatory 100% surtax on certain US food ingredients and products imported into Canada. Many of these items are used in restaurants, or in food manufacturing for products sold to restaurants. In addition, wines are included on the list, which might affect licensed restaurateurs importing wines from California.

We continue to seek assurances from the government that retaliatory measures will not be overly disruptive to the restaurant sector.

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