Canadian officials say they may impose retaliatory duties on U.S. imports for the first time since 1986. Prime Minister Paul Martin’s government, seeking to persuade the U.S. to comply with a World Trade Organization decision, published a list of imports it may tag with punitive levies totaling $10 million next year. The items range from live hogs to downhill skies.
Canada, the European Union and six other countries including Japan and Brazil won a WTO ruling in August ordering the United States to drop its so-called Byrd Amendment. So far, the United States has failed to comply and the law, which lets the government distribute to companies the punitive duties it collects, still stands.
Under the WTO ruling Canada can apply punitive duties equal to 72 percent of the tariffs the United States handed out to companies in the preceding year. Canada’s Trade Department estimates that the United States will distribute about $14 million of duties in 2004.
This is yet another dispute between the United States and Canada. While this dispute wasn’t brought about by pork production or pork trade, there still could be some impact. Live swine were mentioned as a possible item for duties, and with ruffled feathers from the U.S. antidumping case, U.S. pork production could be a target.