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U.S. tariffs on some Canadian wheat imports to be dropped
Canadian farmers scored a partial victory on Friday over U.S.-imposed tariffs on wheat imports .
The U.S. International Trade Commission voted to drop a 13.55 per cent tariff on imports of Canadian durum wheat.
However, the ITC voted to maintain a 14.16 per cent tariff on imports of Canadian hard red spring wheat.
"It's been a long time coming," Byron Dorgan, a Democratic senator from North Dakota said. "Finally, American trade officials are standing up for America's family farmers." But Agriculture minister Ralph Goodale said Canadian wheat is not sold for below market value.
"If you've (the United States) got a problem with international grain markets, look in the mirror," he said. "Because the source of that difficulty is in fact international subisidization, for which, the U.S. and the Europeans must share the greatest responsibility." The Canadian Wheat Board said it had expected to win Friday's vote and will appeal the ITC decision on spring wheat.
"U.S. trade law overall is tilted heavily in favour of plaintiffs in these kind of international disputes, and yet in nine previous investigations, the CWB was found to be a fair trader on both wheat and durum," Ken Ritter, chair of the CWB's board of directors said. "Nothing has changed; we are still a fair trader," Ritter said.
The ITC vote is the latest step in a year-long process. In September 2002, U.S. grain growers filed trade petitions with the U.S. government. They claimed the Canadian Wheat Board unfairly subsidizes wheat and dumps it in the United States below market prices.
The next month, the U.S. Commerce Department responded by starting an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation on imports of Canadian hard red spring and durum wheat.
In November 2002, the ITC issued a preliminary decision that U.S. wheat growers were probably being hurt by imports of Canadian wheat.
MGR Archive 18.10.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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