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Mexico joins Canada in WTO complaint against U. S.

Mexico has formally requested to join Canada in its complaint against U. S. country-of-origin labelling requirements.

The request to the World Trade Organization, dated Dec. 12, was posted on the WTO website Dec. 17 and was made “in the light of Mexico’s substantial trade interest in this dispute owing to the increasing trade between Mexico and the United States.”

Canada filed its original complaint against the U. S. on Dec. 4 citing concerns that the U. S. COOL rules were discriminating against the Canadian cattle and hog sectors.

U. S. COOL legislation went into effect on Oct. 1, 2008. The rules require that foreign livestock be segregated in U. S. feedlots and packing plants. Additional documentation is also required for the animals. The Canadian cattle and hog sectors say they are losing money as a result of the rules. U. S. meat plants are also said to be refusing to accept Canadian animals for processing following the implementation of the new laws.

Under the WTO rules for dispute settlement, countries have 60 days from the time a complaint is filed to come up with a solution between themselves. After that time, a dispute panel is created to deal with the case.

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