The World Trade Organization’s appeal body ruled in favour of Canada in an ongoing dispute with the European Union over the EU’s ban on imports of Canadian beef from cattle treated with growth hormones.
The decision came on Oct. 16.
“Canadian beef is a symbol of excellence in the global marketplace and we are pleased that the World Trade Organization appellate body has confirmed that Canada is not in violation of any of its WTO obligations,” said Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This government will ensure Canada-EU commercial relations remain strong and mutually beneficial while we continue to stand up for the interests of Canadian producers.”
Canada and the United States have consistently opposed the EU ban on the importation of beef from hormone-treated cattle since it was imposed in 1989. Both countries maintain that the EU has not been able to prove there are scientific reasons for a ban.
In 1998, the WTO agreed with Canada and the United States on the matter and in 1999 it allowed both countries to retaliate by increasing duties on certain EU imports.
Now the WTO appeal body has also reversed a decision by another WTO panel which had found in March 2008 that Canada’s retaliatory measures were inconsistent with certain WTO procedural obligations.
The federal government is carefully reviewing the report and considering its next steps in consultation with stakeholders. The appellate decision must be adopted by the WTO dispute settlement body within 30 days of its release date.