Canada Prepares to Defend Against US Allegations that it Unfairly Subsidizes Hog Production

by 5m Editor
10 March 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1464. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1464

Agriculture and Agrifood Canada says defending Canadian pork producers against a pending US trade action will be complex and costly but, in the end, Canada will win.

The National Pork Producers Council has filed a petition with the US government calling for antidumping and countervailing duties on imported live Canadian weanlings and slaughter hogs.

If the action proceeds, Ottawa will lead the defense against the countervailing duty while industry will coordinate the defense in the antidumping case.

Gilles Lavoie says federal officials will have a clearer idea of what will be needed from them by the end of March, by which time the US commerce department should announce whether or not the US producer's complaint will be investigated.

"In the petition they have already listed a preliminary list of programs that, in their view, may confer a subsidy according to US legislation.

Obviously then, each one of these programs will have to be properly documented, how they work and how much is received by hog producers.

It does include federal programs but also provincial programs, particularly in terms of loan programs.

The federal credit corporation loans are there. You also have some provincial loan programs. C-FIP is there, CAIS is there.

We'll use the normal process in terms of documentation to be prepared to provide the Department of Commerce with all the information it will require".

Lavoie says, if the investigation proceeds, the US Commerce Department will issue a series of questions, probably in early April, that will have to be answered.

He says the federal government's focus will be explaining what its programs are about, how they work and why it believes they do not constitute unfair producer subsidies.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor