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US Trade Action Strains Canada US Pork Industry Relations in Other Common Areas

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

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1644. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1644

The Canadian Pork Council says the trade action that resulted in US import duties on live Canadian hogs is straining relations in other areas.

The preliminary US antidumping duties on imported live Canadian hogs came into effect last month. CPC President Clare Schlegel says the two industries face a lot of common issues and threats but it's difficult to maintain trust amid false accusations of illegal subsidization.

"We develop our programs and perspectives within a WTO framework and that's what Canada has done.

We've been proven that the programs are established in a way that doesn't negatively influence trade. The WTO process, the US government process in fact has found that the subsidies are not deemed illegal in any way.

The furtherance of a dumping charge in a live swine case is inappropriate and obviously strains the relationship as we think about working together on questions like, foreign animal disease preparedness, an integrated North American meat industry that wants to be competitive with the world, common food safety strategies such as Canadian Quality Assurance and the quality assurance program in the United States.

Animal welfare would be another area that we obviously still have a lot in common. Protectionism around the world, that's kind of ironic because in this case we certainly feel that the US action is attempting to protect its own industry and create an unlevel playing field rather than leveling the playing field."

Schlegel says expanding Canadian production was not the result of subsidies but more likely competitiveness issues, most notably the low Canadian dollar.

He says the dollar's recent significant gains have increased the competitiveness of the US industry and production is already changing so the market would have straightened itself out without US trade action.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor