Chicken also excluded from COOL repeal

Last week’s repeal of U.S. country-of-origin labelling legislation excluded chicken as well as sheep and lamb.

Mike Dungate, executive director of the Chicken Farmers of Canada, said Dec. 22 that chicken’s continued inclusion under COOL is less of an issue because no live chickens are typically shipped to the United States.

The National Chicken Council (NCC) in the U.S. is happy with the development, he added.

“They are applauding the (U.S.) government on it because they’re saying, ‘you’ve avoided retaliation for us and you’ve kept this so that nobody can come in and steal our market.’ They love it that (COOL) was repealed and that chicken wasn’t on the repeal list,” said Dungate.

The CFC has noted the situation with the federal government but hasn’t pressed it.

“We’ve mentioned it to the government only in the sense that, ‘you know what, they’re trying to get away with as much as they can get away with,’ ” Dungate said.

“I actually hope (the partial repeal) resolves it for the beef and pork guys. I hope it doesn’t mean that (the Americans are) just going to try and figure out something different.”

On its website, an NCC news release indicated the organization was among many American commodity groups that urged the U.S. government to repeal COOL for chicken, beef and pork.

That release was issued after the World Trade Organization ruled earlier this month that Canada and Mexico could impose retaliatory tariffs on various U.S. commodities if COOL was not repealed or changed to comply with international trade rules.

At that time, NCC president Mike Brown said he feared chicken and fowl would be on the list of goods subject to tariffs. The U.S. exported $1.23 billion worth of chicken to Canada and Mexico in 2014, according to NCC figures.

It is unclear whether Canada is still in a position to retaliate given that chicken and lamb were excluded from the COOL repeal.

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