US association National Chicken Council fears duties on poultry

US association National Chicken Council fears duties on poultry

Canada is working on duties on a range of imported US-made food products following authorisation from the WTO it can collect C$1.05bn (US$772m) annually in compensation for illegal US country-of-origin labels.

The US labels have been declared in breach of world trading rules by the WTO.

The Canadian department of foreign affairs, trade and development told just-food it has shortlisted products that would be covered by retaliatory duties. The foods include confectionery, including maple sugar, maple syrup, chocolate and other cocoa products such as chocolate coated nuts and ice cream, glucose, fructose (and their syrups), and certain sugars.

Other tariff lines on the list include beef and pork, pre-prepared poultry meals, as well as fresh produce such as apples and cherries.

Corn (maize), semi-milled or wholly milled rice, pasta, stuffed pasta, and prepared cereal products (such as corn flakes), bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits and even communion wafers could also be covered.

WTO documents have suggested Canada may seek approval for these new duties this month, but a Canadian government official told just-food they were "still working" on setting tariff rates and had no firm deadline to complete the work.

US chicken industry association The National Chicken Council urged Washington to repeal the labelling laws immediately.

"I am keenly aware that chicken and fowl could be at the top of the list for retaliation by Canada and Mexico, and that this labeling law continues to leave the door open for retaliatory action by other countries, too," National Chicken Council president Mike Brown said. "NCC supports legislative action that will bring U.S. laws and regulations pertaining to meat and poultry into full compliance with our international trade obligations. NCC urges Congress to repeal the labeling provision for chicken, beef and pork now."

Mexico has been given permission to raise US$227.7m in revenue from retaliatory duties on US exports over the case.