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Pork Producers Continue to Strongly Support Duties on Live Hog Imports from Canada, NPPC Says

by 5m Editor
4 November 2004, at 12:00am

WASHINGTON, D.C - The National Pork Producers Council says U.S. pork producers continue to overwhelmingly support the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to place duties of 14 percent on imports of live hogs.

According to Jon Caspers, immediate past president of NPPC and a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa, unfair Canadian trade practices have resulted in an influx of Canadian hog imports to the U.S., which have caused financial harm to U.S. pork producers. Caspers said U.S. pork producers support duties on live hog imports from Canada for the following reasons:

  • The subsidies are causing an outsourcing of sow production to Canada – If the subsidies were provided by a U.S. state - Maine, for example rather than Canada - Maine would become a net exporter of hogs.

  • Canadian producers have not cut back sow herd production since 1997 – The large Canadian subsidies have distorted the North American hog and pork market to such an extent that almost all new sows added to the North American herd in the last decade have been added in Canada.

  • Canadian subsidies are suppressing U.S. pork sales – Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, has calculated that the additional pork produced in response to the subsidies provided by Quebec programs alone are equivalent to 30 percent of U.S. exports.

  • U.S. pork producers can compete, but not with the Canadian government – Official Canadian Government data show that the average hog producer in Canada had an income of $44,000 in 1999. Canada’s Government support represented $43,000 of the total $44,000 income. Canadian producers were profitable, thanks to government subsidies, and continued their unabated expansion while U.S. producers lost money.

“I feel compelled to set the record straight on behalf of the thousands of pork producers who stand united behind their support for the cases filed against live hog imports from Canada,“ Caspers said. “We are increasingly seeing a great deal of misinformation about this case, spread throughout the country and we wanted to provide the truth.

The Canadians are spending millions of dollars in an attempt to influence the process in the U.S. The countervailing and anti-dumping petitions brought by U.S. pork producers were initiated by 23 state pork associations, which represent over 85 percent of total U.S, hog production and thousands of pork producers of all sizes throughout the country. Propaganda that suggests otherwise is patently false.“

Caspers said the purpose of the trade cases is to move Canada to eliminate subsidies to its hog producers, not to close the border. “The trade cases were filed for one reason and one reason only – to get the Canadian government out of the hog and pork market and to eliminate their subsidy program.“

Source: National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) - 3rd November 2004

5m Editor