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George Morris Centre Urges US to Consider Potential Consequences of Duties on Canadian Hogs

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

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1466. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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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 1466

The Guelph, Ontario based George Morris Centre is urging to the US to examine its own programs as it considers a US pork producers request for countervailing and antidumping duties on live Canadian hogs.

Last week the National Pork Producers Council filed a request with the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission for an investigation into subsidies it alleges allow Canadian producers to sell hogs into the US at prices lower than in Canada.

The petition identifies several federal and provincial loan and income stabilization programs which US producers view as conferring subsidies according to US legislation.

George Morris Centre CEO Dr. Larry Martin says these programs are completely legal under the WTO and he doubts the US will be able to justify even preliminary duties.

"I think Americans should be really careful with this. If, in fact, they're going to start trying to countervail us on the basis of our legal programs, they've got some huge problems coming down the road with their 2002 and 1996 farm bills where I think they're opening themselves up to a huge issue from other countries.

If they're going to start countervailing programs that are quite legal under the WTO, I think they should be really careful.

This is a waste of time, effort, money and I think people should be encouraged to spend their time and effort on things that are positive not these negative things.

My guess is we'll end up two years down the road with no duties but we will have had lots of injury done to Canadian hog producers in the meantime".

The Department of Commerce is expected to initiate action March 25th and the International Trade Commission is expected to make a preliminary determination on injury by April 19th.

Preliminary duties could take effect as soon as June 1st for the countervailing duty case and August 12th for the antidumping case.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor