NPPC Applauds commerce department hog decision

by 5m Editor
16 October 2004, at 12:00am

US - The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that provisional antidumping duties of approximately 14% of the declared U.S. customs value of the hog will be placed on imports of live hogs from Canada.

Jon Caspers, a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa and a past president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) stated "the Commerce Department's determination is compelled by the economic reality of the situation. Canadian hog producers unfairly benefit from huge subsidies that cause overproduction in Canada and allow Canadian producers to sell their hogs in the United States at artificially low prices. The flood of low-priced hogs from Canada has pushed down U.S. hog prices and inflicted severe financial on U.S. hog producers."

The Commerce Department's affirmative preliminary dumping determination follows on the heels of the Department's negative preliminary countervailing duty (CVD) determination in August. In that decision, the Commerce Department found that Canadian hog farmers had received substantial benefits from more than a dozen subsidy programs available in Canada. Commerce preliminarily decided, however, that many of the subsidies received were not "illegal" because benefits were also provided to other Canadian agricultural industries.

The Commerce Department is now in Canada examining the accuracy of the Canadian government's subsidy data. Caspers stated, "we believe that after Commerce carefully reviews the Canadian data in light of past Commerce practice, it will find that the Canadian subsidies are illegal under U.S. law." Iowa State University economist, Dermot Hayes, has analyzed both the data from the public record of the CVD case and other available Canadian agricultural data and estimated that Canadian hog farmers receive benefits ranging from $4 to $6/pig for the federal subsidy programs and that Quebec producers receive as much as $15/pig. A more detailed analysis of these figures is provided in a paper that is posted on NPPC's website:

"Clearly, the Canadian subsidies are distorting hog and pork markets," said Caspers. The Canadians have not reduced hog production since 1997. Hog producers in the United States have unfairly shouldered all the pain of market adjustment. We will not sit by as part of our industry is unfairly exported to Canada. Our objective is very simple -- we want the Canadian government to get out of the hog and pork market. If the Canadian Government withdraws the subsidies to Canadian hog farmers, thereby restoring free and open trade to the North American market, NPPC's unfair trade cases would no longer be necessary."

Source: National Pork Producers Association - 16 October 2004

5m Editor