OTTAWA – Canada’s new agriculture minister said the new Liberal government will continue demands for a full repeal of the United States’ country of origin labeling (COOL) rule. 

Lawrence MacAulay, Canadian Agriculture Minister
Lawrence MacAulay, 
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Speaking to iPolitics, Minister Lawrence MacAulay said he had discussed COOL with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the US Ambassador to Canada Bruce Hayman. He said Canada will implement retaliatory tariffs if Canada “…were forced to do it.”

This is grim news for supporters of COOL, who previously urged the Obama administration to offer the Canadian government a concession in exchange for support of US mandatory COOL.

Canada and Mexico are seeking more than $3 billion in tariffs against the US for failing to repeal COOL. The US House of Representatives voted to repeal COOL, while Sens. Debbie Stabenow and John Hoeven introduced a bill that repeals COOL and replaces it with a voluntary system. The World Trade Organization is due to release its ruling on Dec. 7.