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Tariffs raised on Canadian Pork

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Manitoba_Rancher

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US fattens tariffs on Canadian pork

Mon Mar 7, 3:33 PM ET Politics - AFP



WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States pushed up planned tariffs on Canadian pigs in a trade row in which US livestock farmers claim they are harmed by unfair subsidies north of the border.


AFP/File Photo



The Department of Commerce boosted its "final determination" of punitive tariff to a maximum of 18.87 percent, following a preliminary maximum of 15.01 percent last October.


The precise tariffs depend on the individual producer, and range from less than one percent to 18.87 percent, with the average 10.6 percent.


The case still must be reviewed by the quasi-judicial US International Trade Commission, with a decision due April 18.


The Commerce Department (news - web sites) said its investigation found that Canadian pork producers "have sold live swine from Canada in the US market at less than fair value."


The Commerce Department acted on a petition from the National Pork Producers Council and several states' farm groups, contending that Canadian farmers have gotten some 100 million dollars in subsidies in recent years.


"Canadian hog producers unfairly benefit from huge subsidies that cause overproduction in Canada and allow Canadian producers to sell their hogs in the US at artificially low prices," said Jon Caspers, a pork producer from Iowa and past president of the Pork Council.


"The flood of low-priced hogs from Canada has pushed down US hog prices and inflicted severe financial harm on US hog producers."


But the Pork Trade Action Coalition, which represents farmers who import live pigs from Canada, criticized the decision.


"This decision hits American farmers with a tax that could put some small family farmers out of business," said John Block, former US agriculture secretary who advises the group.


"Canadian exports account for a mere 3.3 percent of the US market. Trade barriers with Canada will not build a stronger US swine industry. Trade barriers and duties will only hurt American farmers caught in the middle of an unjustified conflict."
 
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