Status on Canadian Initiatives re: US Trade Actions

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

ONTARIO - The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is taking the lead on coordinating the Canadian initiatives responding to the recent trade actions launched by the National Pork Producers' Council in the United States.

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The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) issued a press release on Friday, March 5, 2004 to announce they had filed countervailing duty and antidumping duty cases against live hog imports from Canada.

The filing of the petition starts a timeline for the investigation. There are two government agencies that address these cases. The first is the International Trade Commission (ITC) that will examine injury. Their analysis will focus on whether or not the imports of live hogs from Canada cause injury to the domestic industry (or causes a threat of injury). The second is the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). DOC will focus on determining the value of countervailable subsidies and antidumping margins.

On the countervail side, is the investigation into programs available to hog producers and the extent to which these programs could be considered as countervailable. Governments, both federal and provincial, are involved and the federal government will assist the defense of programs.

On the antidumping side, DOC will examine if a foreign producer sells a product in the U.S. at a price that is below that producer’s price in their home market, or lower than cost of production. (The CPC has not been involved in an antidumping investigation before.) For antidumping, DOC will generally ask for a list of exporters and then chose a handful to examine in detail. The groups that are chosen will receive a company specific antidumping rate (if dumping is found) and others will receive an “all others“ rate which is a weighted average of the rates calculated. The Canadian government is not involved in the defence on the antidumping side.

There are both preliminary and final determinations as outlined below:

  1. Preliminary decision on injury (of threat of injury): ITC. This stage is really just to weed out frivolous cases and it is not expected that the case will terminate here. This deadline for this decision is currently set at April 19, 2004.

  2. Preliminary decision on subsidies: DOC. This is when the DOC would determine a level of countervailable subsidies. The date for this determination is May 29, 2004 for simple cases, August 2 for more complex cases. This determination is important as if countervailable subsidies above a certain rate are found, exports of live hogs under investigation would be required to pay deposits from the date the decision is issued.

  3. Preliminary decision on dumping: DOC. The current date for this determination is August 12, 2004 for simple cases, October 1 for complex cases. As with countervail, dumping margins, if found, would result in the collection of funds at the border from this point.

  4. Final decision on subsidies: DOC. The current date for this determination is August 12, 2004 for simple cases, October 16 for complex cases.

  5. Final decision on dumping: DOC. The current date for this determination is October 26 for simple cases, December 15 for complex cases.

  6. Final decision on injury (or threat of injury) related to countervail: ITC. The current date for this determination is September 26, 2004 for simple cases, November 30, 2004 for complex cases. Final decision on injury (or threat of injury) related to antidumping: ITC. The current date for this decision is December 10, 2004 for simple cases, January 29, 2005 for complex cases.

It is important to note that while there are set timelines for the decisions, there are provisions at many steps for extensions. In addition, the countervail and antidumping cases may be combined. Therefore, the dates outlined above should be considered only as provisional dates at this point. Edouard Asnong, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council, is the national spokesperson on this issue. Edouard can be reached through the Canadian Pork Council office in Ottawa at 613-236-9239.

Key messages:

  • We are very disappointed in the NPPC’s announcement.
  • We intend to counter the charges.
  • We will present our side of the case throughout the investigation.
  • Canadian hogs are fairly traded.
  • We will take active steps to represent the best interests of Canadian hog producers.
Source: Ontario Pork - 6th March 2004

5m Editor