01/28/2014 12:06 EST | Updated 03/30/2014 05:59 EDT

Saskatchewan backs retaliatory measures to U.S. country-of-origin meat labelling

REGINA - Saskatchewan says it supports the federal government's proposed retaliatory measures against the U.S. over country-of-origin labelling on meat.

Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart says Canada and the United States depend on one another for the shared success of the agriculture industries.

Stewart says country-of-origin labelling is a protectionist measure that has cost Canadian producers billions and will continue to be a hardship.

The labelling rules are blamed for complicating the import of meat and livestock into the U.S. from Canada and for reducing the amount of Canadian exports to the country by half since 2008.

U.S. lawmakers have refused to change the rules, which require detailed labels about the origins of beef, pork and chicken sold in stores.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast have said Canada may retaliate by imposing tariffs on a wide range of American products.