Canada's cattle sector on guard as beef-labelling talk returns in the U.S.

In the annals of North American trade disputes, the fight over mandatory country-of-origin labelling on beef and pork probably deserves its own chapter.

When the U.S. wielded the rules early in the last decade, it cost Canadian producers dearly and was blamed for sharp declines in livestock exports south of the border.

Ultimately, it took the World Trade Organization, which ruled the U.S. violated international trade law, and the threat of hefty sanctions for American lawmakers to repeal the regulations in 2015.

But support for the U.S. strategy still lingers and, amid the struggles of American ranchers, efforts to resurrect the regulation in some form appear to be percolating in its farm belt and on Capitol Hill.

Those backing a return of the labelling regime say it's about transparency and competition, and believe American consumers — given a clear choice to buy beef produced exclusively in the U.S. — will pay to support their farmers and ranchers...

This was excerpted from the 28 May 2021 edition of CBC News.