Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No Duty on Corn - Score One For Free Trade

Animal Agriculture groups welcomed news that there will be no duty on corn imported to Canada from the United States.

The news should be good for Canada - US relations that have seen too many trade challenges interfering with the marketplace.

A duty on corn imported corn would have hurt livestock farmers that have come through serious challenges, notably cattle producers that suffered 2 years of losses due to the border closures caused as a reaction to BSE (aka. mad cow disease).

In many agricultural commodities there is truly one North American market artificially driving up costs to Canadian livestock producers would have put them at a severe disadvantage.

Corn producers organizations that initiated the duty due have valid concerns, American grain farmers get rich subsidies, and commodity prices are low. With the duty issue decided, these groups should focus on trying to influence American Farm policy to reduce direct subsidies to specific crops and find ways that the Canadian government can offer long term support to agriculture without setting off other trade issues.

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