Canada is asking the World Trade Organization to intervene in a dispute with the United States over cattle and hog exports.

Ottawa announced Wednesday it has asked a WTO trade dispute panel to strike down country-of-origin requirements it says are making it difficult for Canadian cattle and hog exporters to compete fairly.

The U.S. currently requires firms to track and notify customers of the origin of meat and other agricultural products at every stage of production, including retail. Ottawa says the provisions impose unfair and unnecessary costs on Canadian exports, reducing their competitiveness.

Consultations have failed to resolve the issue.

Canada-U.S. agricultural trade totals about $37 billion (US$35 billion) annually.

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