Technical talks aimed at avoiding a formal trade dispute between Canada and South Korea over the latter’s ban on Canadian beef haven’t done the trick.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Stockwell Day announced July 9 that Canada has officially asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to set up a formal dispute settlement panel on the matter.
Canada’s request is expected to be considered at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body’s meeting July 20. The government said it normally takes up to nine months from the establishment of a panel for the panel’s final report to be released.
Korea, which has blocked Canadian beef since the first domestic case of BSE appeared in Canada in May 2003, was Canada’s fourth-largest beef export market in 2002, valued at $50 million.