US Investigation of Canadian Live Hogs Expected to Answer US Producer Concerns

by 5m Editor
17 June 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1540. 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 1540

The US based National Pork Producers Council says a probe into the impact of Canadian live hog imports will help answer many of the questions American producers are asking about loses they have faced since 1998.

US pork producers allege they've been losing money as a direct result of illegally subsidized Canadian hogs being dumped into their market.

The US International Trade Commission has determined the complaints are valid and the US Commerce Department is investigating Canadian subsidy programs and pricing practices. NPPC Staffer Nick Giordano, on hand for World Meat Congress in Winnipeg, says several Canadian programs are highly suspect.

"One of the provincial programs is in an Eastern Canadian provinces and it acts as kind of a price stabilization scheme. It's clearly countervailable. There are a number of others that are smaller provincial programs that appear to be targeted to just livestock producers or pork producers and likely are countervailable.

There are a number of big programs, the federal whole farm programs, that are within the scope of the case. We don't know for sure that those programs are illegal. As they're written, they're whole farm programs but the reality is some appear pretty definitely to be countervailable, others, we're not sure.

We think there's a good chance they may be but the commerce department will get the actual data and they will look at it and we'll know more as the cases progress."

Giordano says no one knows for sure the extent of illegal subsidization in Canada and, in fact, individual provinces are unaware of what the federal government and other provinces are doing. He says the matter will become much clearer, once the commerce department issues its next ruling next month.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor