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Abstract

The economic health of the Canadian beef industry is dependent upon exports. The U.S. market is the largest export market (over 70 percent of export volume) for Canadian beef. Imports of Canadian beef are equivalent to only about 4 percent of domestic U.S. production; however, many U.S. producers believe imports are having a negative impact on the market for domestic beef. They are disturbed that imported beef sold in the United States is not differentiated from domestic beef. The U.S. Congress passed legislation included in the 2002 U.S. Farm Bill creating a mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) program for beef. The Canadian beef industry has viewed U.S. efforts to establish mandatory COOL as potentially having a negative effect on the market for Canadian beef and as a trade barrier; however, if some consumers preferred the taste of Canadian beef or felt that it was a superior product because of other product attributes, it could sell at a premium in the U.S. market.

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