Canada-U.S. trade war looming

AFP-JIJI

Canada threatened Friday to slap duties on a litany of U.S. goods in a label spat with its main trading partner.

Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast said he would seek WTO approval for the retaliatory measures against the United States, which could take up to 24 months.

The dispute stems from a mandatory labeling requirement unveiled by the U.S. in 2009, aimed at providing consumers with more information about the safety and origin of their food.

Ottawa fought the country-of-origin labeling rule at the WTO, saying it discriminated against Canadian products, and won. The WTO gave the United States until May 23 to comply with its rules, but instead, Washington merely tweaked the regulation.