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A cow and calf at the Triple SSS Red Angus Ranch, west of Calgary, on Feb. 28, 2012.

Chris Bolin/The Globe and Mail

The United States is appealing a World Trade Organization ruling that found the country's meat-labelling laws discriminate against Canadian beef and pork exports.

The ruling last month found that changes the U.S. made to its country-of-origin policy violate trade rules because it treats Canadian and Mexican livestock less favourably than U.S. livestock.

Federal Trade Minister Ed Fast says Canada is deeply disappointed with the U.S. decision to appeal.

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He says last month's ruling reaffirmed Canada's view that changes the U.S. made to comply with an earlier ruling actually made the policy more "blatantly protectionist."

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has said Ottawa would consider imposing retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. goods as early as next year if Washington doesn't comply with the WTO rulings.

Along with U.S. beef , those tariffs could be placed on cheese, apples, corn, maple syrup, chocolate, pasta, frozen orange juice, wine and spirits, jewelry and mattresses.

Ritz said Canada is confident the U.S will lose its latest appeal.

"With this delay, the United States is yet again preventing both of our countries from enjoying the benefits of freer and more open trade and is hurting farmers, ranchers and workers in the United States and Canada," Ritz said Friday in a release.

"We are confident that the WTO appellate body in the compliance process will uphold the principal finding of the report: that the amended U.S. COOL measure discriminates against Canadian livestock."

Fast has said the legislation undermines North American supply chains and costs the Canadian pork and beef industries about $1-billion a year.

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