Federal government says it may retaliate over new U.S. meat labelling plan

The Canadian government is warning Washington it may retaliate if the U.S. brings in a new trade rule on how beef and pork products are labelled.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture proposal calls for foreign producers to list on the package of meat products where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.

The U.S. says the new rule would help it comply with a World Trade Organization decision last year that found its labelling regulations discriminated against Canada and Mexico.

But Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says the new proposed rule is extremely disappointing and would make the discrimination even worse, hurting Canadian producers and the meat industry.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Pork Council say they share Ottawa’s concerns.

Ritz says the federal government will consider all options, including retaliatory measures, if the U.S. follows through with its proposal.