April 22, 2004
Canada Pork Industry To Counter US Hog Dumping Allegations
Canada's pork industry is preparing as the US Commerce Department begins investigating allegations that subsidized Canadian live hogs dumped into the US are hurting US producers.
Petitions filed with the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission call for countervail and antidumping duties on live Canadian hogs to offset the effect of Canadian subsidies on the US market.
Sask Pork Director Florian Possberg says the next step in the investigation will see the US Commerce Department send auditors onto Canada farms to look for evidence of unfair subsidies.
"We have sent a lot of live hogs to the US but quite frankly it's because they were paying more than what industry here, in the case of feeder pigs, could afford to pay. They do have subsidized corn and grains.
They do have large efficient double shifted slaughter plants that typically can outbid our operations.
The US has seen their dollar quite weak which gives them a fair advantage in international trade and they've not been saddled with the same issues around BSE and SARS and so on that we did in the Canadian industry.
There have been more pigs going south but it was strictly an economic issue and I think, at the end of the day, we're definitely going to verified to be fair and free traders with the United States and I think Canada is definitely going to win this case".
Possberg says the US Department of Commerce will select five to 10 Canadian operations that will be intensely audited.
He says we should know in a short period of time which operations will be involved.