WASHINGTON - Canadian cattle farmers have won a powerful friend in their fight against punishing U.S. regulations.
An American congressional committee has requested a stop to labelling rules that have significantly hurt Canadian exports.
In a note attached to a major spending bill, the U.S. House of Representatives' appropriations committee has asked the Department of Agriculture to stop imposing country-of-origin meat-labelling rules.
Those rules are blamed for complicating the process of bringing in meat from Canada, and for reducing meat exports to the U.S. by half since 2008.
The congressional committee can't actually force the executive agency to drop the rule â€” but it does have control over that agency's budget.
The Canadian government is expressing optimism over the news.
A spokesman from Ottawa says the government will continue fighting the regulation at the World Trade Organization, but would be pleased to see U.S. lawmakers drop the requirement in their upcoming Farm Bill.