The Pork Trade Action Coalition (PTAC) called a Department of Commerce (DOC) announcement today of preliminary dumping duties on live swine from Canada an “unjustified and unfair tax on American farmers.”  PTAC vowed to continue to fight against the duties on behalf of hundreds of American farmers who rely on the imports for their livelihoods.

“The DOC’s preliminary dumping rates are unfair and will hurt hundreds of American farmers who buy Canadian pigs and raise them to market in the United States,” says John Block, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and a senior advisor to PTAC. “These duties are completely unjustified. Canadian exports are not hurting the U.S. industry, they account for only 3.3 percent of the U.S. market. In fact, U.S. pork producers are enjoying record prices and record profits. In addition, the price of hogs is set by the market not by Canadian exporters. The DOC has made a misguided trade policy decision that could wipe out many small farms in the Midwest.”

“The government tax on Canadian pigs will make these pigs unaffordable to American family farmers,” says Larry McAllister, Founder and President of Iowa-based Prairie States Management Company. “We are particularly disappointed that the National Pork Producers Council has pursued this matter which penalizes its own members whose business practice is to buy pigs from Canada. I was assured that NPPC had no desire to close the border to Canadian pigs. However, this tax does, in fact close the borders to many finishers.”

While the DOC set preliminary duties for one Canadian exporter at a minimal level, duty levels of 14.06 percent on nearly 80 percent of Canadian swine exports to the United States covered by the “all other rate” could put many independent American farmers out of business, says PTAC.

“Two-thirds of Canadian imports are baby pigs imported by family farms that cannot otherwise obtain the quality or quantity of pigs needed from U.S. sources,” says McAllister.

“These Canadian pigs are a vital component in U.S. pork industry productivity and profits,” adds Block. “They allow U.S. packers and processors to meet the combined demand for pork in the United States and in export markets that the United States has been able to develop.

For more information on PTAC, call (202) 466-621 or go to www.porktradeaction.org.

Pork Trade Action Coalition