US Pork Producers Express Concern Over Duties on Canadian Hogs

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

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1626. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1626

A former US Agriculture Secretary says duties being applied to live Canadian pigs imported into the US threaten irreparable harm to the American industry.

The US Department of Commerce has imposed a 14.06 percent preliminary antidumping duty on live Canadian swine entering the US.

Pork Trade Action Coalition Senior Advisor John Block says the duty will harm hundreds of American producers who rely on Canadian feeder pigs which they finish out and sell to American packing plants.

"For some years now we've been developing an integrated hog industry which does include Canada as well as the United States. This action here I think is unjustified.

We need freer and more open trade not more restrictions in trade. I think we're going to hurt our trading relationships and our opportunities down the road. It's going to change things.

We're going to find that, if this stays in place, becomes as costly as it appears like it might, we're going to find that...

First of all, from the United States point of view, you might find that the Canadians decide to feed the pigs out in Canada instead of sending them to the United States.

Is that going to do the United States any good? I don't think so.

Or they're going to decide to build more packing plants in Canada to handle the processing because of the problems with shipping back and forth across the border. I don't think that this is a step in the right direction.

I thought we had a free trade agreement with Canada. I think we should be working as hard as we can to keep that trade channel open and not do anything to diminish it or close it."

Block, who served as US Agriculture Secretary from 1981 to 1986 in the Ronald Reagan administration, says the preliminary duty is perplexing when you consider the Commerce Department rejected allegations in August that Canadian producers receive illegal government subsidies.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor