Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wheat Board wins tariff dispute with the U.S.

This is from the CBC.
The Wheat Board may win in court but the U.S. will always appeal. It is clear that the US would love to get rid of the Wheat Board. However, the US will eventually prevail with the help of farmers who elect many Conservatives. Harper is determined to do away with the Wheat Board monopoly or single desk selling. In the name of marketing choice farmers often are suckered into shooting themselves in the foot. Big Grain cheers them on.

Wheat board wins tariff dispute with U.S.
Last Updated: Friday, October 31, 2008 1:54 PM CT
CBC News
A trade court has found in favour of the Canadian Wheat Board in a longstanding dispute with the U.S. over tariffs.
The U.S. Court of International Trade has ordered the U.S. Commerce Department to return duties it collected on Canadian hard red spring wheat between August 2003 and February 2006.
At the time, there was a 14 per cent tariff charged on wheat going to the U.S, a duty found to be unfair in an earlier ruling.
"The purpose of collecting anti-dumping and countervailing duties is to level the playing field so that producers can compete fairly in the marketplace," Judge Richard Eaton wrote in his decision.
"That purpose would not be advanced by allowing the United States to keep [the wheat board's] deposits when it has been conclusively established that the domestic industry has suffered no material injury from the subject imports."
Wheat board spokeswoman Maureen Fitzhenry said the U.S. government will not have to pay a large amount of money, but it sets an important precedent.
"Not very significant — we only had one customer involved during that period because the tariffs were so high, they basically prevented Canadian wheat from trading into the U.S market during that time," she said.
"So we're talking sort of less than $100,000, but it's a very significant principle."
Because the tariff had to be added to the price of wheat, the money would go back to the producer. The U.S. can appeal the decision.
American authorities deemed the Canadian wheat to be unfairly subsidized in implementing the tariff. The Canadian Wheat Board appealed and, after a lengthy court battle, the U.S. International Trade Commission ordered that the duties be eliminated.
The most recent ruling means tariffs collected by the U.S. government, including money gathered before the tariffs were declared unfair, must be returned to the Canadian Wheat Board to distribute back to the producer.

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