Thursday, March 16, 2006

Duties on U.S. Corn

The Canadian Border Services Agency formalized duties of 44 per cent on corn imported from the United States.

OTTAWA—Canadian corn farmers, who say they're fighting for their lives, applauded a ruling yesterday that upholds stiff penalties on imports of U.S. grain corn found to be subsidized and sold below cost.

The Canadian Border Services Agency formalized duties of 44 per cent on corn imported from the United States, concluding it has been subsidized there, then dumped here.

The combined total of the duties, first imposed in December on unprocessed grain corn, are worth $1.65 (U.S.) per bushel.

The decision presents a final opportunity for about 29,000 corn producers, based almost entirely in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, to preserve their way of life, said Brian Doidge, general manager of the Ontario Corn Producers' Association.

"What's really at stake is the ability of rural Canada to survive," he said after the ruling.

"The U.S. (agriculture) subsidies have a systemic impact on price ... and it's a long-term erosion of Canadian society in rural Canada that's at risk here," he added.

"What we've decided to do is draw a line in the grain."