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Hearings on U.S. corn case begin in Canada today

Agriculture.com Staff 03/20/2006 @ 8:24am

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) begins public hearings today in Ottawa on allegations that U.S. dumping and subsidizing of grain corn harms Canadian producers.

Last week, the Canadian Border Services Agency upheld a provisional duty of $1.65 per bushel on U.S. corn until the CITT inquiry is complete. A decision is expected by April 18.

"We are very disappointed," said Rick Tolman, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association. "It is unfortunate the CBSA upheld the ruling of the duties. There is no winner in this outcome. Both the U.S. corn growers and Canada's corn growers will feel significant negative economic impact because of the duties imposed."

An American coalition, including NCGA, U.S. Grains Council, Corn Refiners Association and American Farm Bureau Federation, testified before the CITT February 23, stating that evidence does not show Canadian growers have been injured by imports of grain corn from the United States. In fact, according to NCGA, the evidence shows that imports of U.S. corn to Canada declined substantially from 2002 to 2005.

The coalition claims the CITT ruling does not meet the legal standards for imposing antidumping or countervailing duties under Canada's Special Import Measures Act, and that CITT's preliminary determination is inconsistent with the international trade rules that obligate Canada to conform to certain minimum standards in applying its antidumping and countervailing duty laws.

According to the U.S. producer groups, the decline in Canadian feed prices was caused by an estimated 8 million metric tons of Canadian feed barley and wheat being placed on the market in 2004-05, combined with a 50% reduction in U.S. corn imports to Canada. If the duties on U.S. corn remain in place, the groups say, Canadian corn users will face rising prices, since that country does not produce enough corn for its domestic consumption.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) begins public hearings today in Ottawa on allegations that U.S. dumping and subsidizing of grain corn harms Canadian producers.

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