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Saskatchewan Prepares to Defend its Farm Programs as US Trade Action Moves Forward

by 5m Editor
28 April 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1503. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
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 1503

Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization expects to have a clearer indication, this week, of the direction a US investigation of Canadian live hog imports will go.

The US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission are investigating allegations that subsidized Canadian live hogs dumped into the US are hurting American producers.

The Saskatchewan Short-Term Hog Loan and Saskatchewan Livestock and Horticulture Facilities Incentives programs are among those under investigation.

Senior Policy Analyst Doug Winsor says federal and provincial governments are focusing primarily on the countervail investigation and expect to receive a list of questions from the Commerce Department this week.

"We are waiting for a questionnaire, which identifies some Canadian programs that they want to investigate. As people are well aware, most of the programs related specifically to hog operations have been wound down over the last 20 years or so.

We no longer have price support programs. We no longer a lot of the tax incentive programs we used to have.

In general the Canadian industry is quite confident that, at the end of the day, the impact of these programs will be measured to be very small but we have to go through the exercise to defend what we do in Canada and answer those challenges.

Those questionnaires generally are completed by governments. The federal government and each of the provincial governments that have programs identified will be preparing responses specific to the provincial programs".

Winsor says it'll be argued that interest rates for the short term hog loans are similar to commercial rates and have a minimal impact on markets and that livestock and horticulture facilities incentives are in reality tax exemptions paid out as rebates and are not subsidies.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor