Trip Report: Mission to Council of State Governments National Conference - September 19-22, 2013

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 Purpose of travel:
To champion Alberta and Canada’s position opposing mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) for meats in the United States (US), and to advocate for the passage of a resolution by the Council of State Governments (CSG) National organization in support of our position. Minister Verlyn Olson and MLA David Xiao represented Alberta at the CSG National Conference.

The CSG National organization is the lead coordinating organization for the five regional affiliates: CSG Washington D.C.; CSG-West; CSG Midwest; CSG South; and CSG-East. Alberta participates as an affiliate member on the international committee of the CSG National organization. Alberta is also an affiliate member of CSG-WEST and CSG Midwest. The CSG acts as the combined voice of the Governments of the States.

The US is by far Alberta’s largest export market for agricultural products. MLA Xiao and Minister Olson presented Alberta’s agriculture linkages with the US and drew attention to the positive relationships that we have built over the years in regards to the sale of Alberta agriculture products throughout the US.

During the CSG National Conference, Minister Olson championed Alberta and Canada’s position on COOL, and advocated for the successful passage of a resolution by the CSG National organization in support of that position. Minister Olson worked with other members of the Canadian delegation to ensure that US legislators received information on our position on COOL to assist them in understanding the impacts to consumers and producers should the US fail to change the COOL law.

Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for meats has been found by the World Trade Organization to unfairly discriminate against Canadian livestock exported to the US. The Canadian cattle and hog industries have suffered significant economic damage due to COOL.

Mission Objectives:
To advocate for a resolution calling for a change to the COOL law that ends the discrimination against Canadian cattle and hogs exported to the US.

The CSG International Committee passed a resolution calling for changes to the COOL law and it was unanimously ratified by the CSG’s Executive Committee on the last day of the meeting.

Minister Verlyn Olson
MLA David Xiao
Nick Harsulla
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This information published to the web on November 14, 2013.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 23, 2017.