Canada's government finds itself in a pork predicament. It faces a decision that will either set off protests among Canadian pork producers or make U.S. pork producers howl, according to an industry analysis by CNNMoney.com.
If the Canadian government declines a request from its pork industry for C$800 million (U.S. $741 million) loan request, Canada stands to lose a large chunk of its pork industry to bankruptcy and closures.
On the other hand, if aid for Canadian pork producers is in the offing it will be seen as an attack on U.S. pork producers, Canada's largest market. Meanwhile, pork producers south of the border say they will do what they can to stop the proposal.
"Essentially, what this does is it transfers suffering among pork producers from north of the border to south of the border, and we're not going to stand by and let that happen," said Nick Giordano, vice president, International Trade Policy, for the National Pork Producers Council.
Waiting for the decision seems to be a tactic that is not acceptable for U.S. pork producers. "We're not going to want to wait. We're going to scream bloody murder,” Giordano warned.
With large losses in both country’s pork industries, and no relief expected for a year or more, tempers are flaring on both sides of the border. "It's never been so bad," said Giordano.
"It's this horrible game of waiting and waiting for the other person to go broke," said Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, who has analyzed the impact the Canadian aid package would have on U.S. hog prices for the NPPC. Without the aid proposed for Canadian producers, their industry faces complete disaster said Hayes.