Farmscape for April 21, 2006 (Episode 2118)
Sask Pork is calling for new national agricultural policies that will put Canadian farmers on a level playing field with their American competitors.
Earlier this week, in its final injury determination, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ruled unprocessed grain corn imported from the United States into Canada has not harmed and does not threaten to harm the Canadian corn industry ending the collection of provisional countervail and antidumping duties being collected on those imports at the border.
Sask Pork General Manager Neil Ketilson suggests the problem that caused the dispute in the first place and which needs to be addressed is the subsidy difference between Canada and the US.
Clip-Neil Ketilson-Sask Pork
The United States has a basic philosophy whereby their policy is based on having their producers grow a very cheap product and subsidizing them to do that and that cheap product provides an input into the value added sectors.
Back in the 1950s they developed an agricultural policy that basically supported very very cheap agricultural primary production, grain and oilseeds, so they produce very cheap corn but what they do with that corn, even though it's subsidized to the corn producers, they use that corn to feed into the value added industries and then they don't subsidize the rest of the value added chain.
They just do it right at the very base and then they're done.
We don't have that situation in Canada.
We expect our producers to export their products at whatever the world market price is and then we will somehow try and stabilize the price after the fact.
They're quite inconsistent in terms of the approaches and the objectives and the end result of what those policies are doing and the implications to the entire western economy.
Ketilson suggests we really need a made at home agricultural policy that will determine how agriculture is going to look in Canada and how it will fit in with other value added enterprises.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council