U.S. wheat growers are applauding an Oct. 3 decision by the United States International Trade Commission to begin assessing tariffs on Canadian wheat that they say is being “dumped” into U.S. markets.

The battle between wheat growers on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border has increasingly heated up among allegations that the Canadian Wheat Board dumps their wheat into the United States and engages in unfair competition, selling at below-market prices.

A ruling by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) finds that the U.S. wheat industry is being materially injured by reason of imports of hard red spring wheat from Canada that the U.S. Department of Commerce has determined are subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

As a result of the Commission's ruling, the U.S. Department of Commerce will issue countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty orders on imports of hard red spring wheat from Canada.

“Earlier this summer, the Commerce Department finally and firmly confirmed what the U.S. wheat industry has long alleged — that Canadian wheat is being dumped in this country at less than fair market value. There is no question, no waffling, and no wavering on that point,” U.S. Wheat Associates President Alan Tracy says. “Today, the commission voted on whether the injury was deep enough to warrant the imposition of countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian wheat imports. This is a decision that is not made lightly, and the injury standards are high.”

Tracy says, “The results of the earlier Commerce Department decisions and today's ITC decisions are so clear that more people than ever now understand the anti-competitive nature of the Canadian wheat system. We trust that Canadian Wheat Board and Canadian government officials will also understand.”

The recent action, he says, provides “much-needed relief for American hard red spring wheat growers who have suffered from the unfair pricing practices of the monopoly Canadian Wheat Board,” said Larry Lee, a wheat producer and North Dakota Wheat Commission Chairman.

“The action of the North Dakota Wheat Commission, with the full support of U.S. Wheat Associates, was not aimed at the Canadian wheat producers who suffer needlessly under an archaic and tyrannical monopoly, but is simply a desire to obtain justice for American farmers,” he says.

“The truggle to obtain a just and level playing field for U.S. wheat growers does not end here. We will continue to oppose the unfair trading practices of the CWB, and we do it in full confidence that, eventually, this archaic system will fall.”

U.S. Wheat Associates Chairman Alan Lee wants to see the issue of state trading enterprises resolved through the WTO “because American wheat farmers are also injured by the Canadian Wheat Board's and the Australian Wheat Board's unfair tactics in markets throughout the world.”

e-mail: dmuzzi@primediabusiness.com