- In response to a trade complaint from the National Pork Production Council in the United States, the American government has slapped duties on the import of live hogs and piglets from Canada.
- The Pork Council’s motives for the complaint are suspect.
- The group alleges that Canadian producers are dumping into the American market below the cost of production, and that the dumping is enabled by existing farm insurance programs.
- The data used to justify the complaint are highly speculative, and ignore other market-based reasons for the increase in Canadian exports.
- Given the size of the Canadian share of the American market, the complaint is more likely based on protectionist motives.
- Besides its creation of winners and losers, the duty will have a number of unintended effects.
- Canada should aggressively pursue the case under free trade rules, and work to eliminate the possibility of such nuisance actions in all export commodities.