NAMA Applauds Unanimous NAFTA Panel Affirmation on Wheat TradeDecember 13, 2005
Washington, DC – December 13, 2005 – The North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) praises yesterday’s action by a NAFTA panel to affirm the International Trade Commission ruling that imports of hard red spring wheat from Canada do not cause material injury to US growers. The affirmation was unanimous among the five-person panel. The principal use of hard red spring wheat flour is for bread, and its production is centered in North Dakota.
In the last 10 years US wheat acreage has declined by more than 18 million acres, more than 4 million acres in North Dakota alone, making access to the entire North American wheat crop critical to US millers, food manufacturers and consumers. In some years, including 2005, the wheat crop in the upper Midwest is further reduced when hit by disease that reduces yield as well as quality.
As a result of the NAFTA affirmation, tariffs of about 11 percent on imports of Canadian hard red spring wheat will be rescinded.
“We look forward to working with growers in ways that are much more productive for both groups, such as fighting wheat diseases and other causes of lost production and declining competitiveness,” said John Miller, president, Miller Milling Company and chairman of NAMA’s ad hoc committee lending expertise in the case. “We will continue, as we always have, to look first to domestic suppliers for our spring wheat and durum requirements. But we must not be prevented from securing alternative supplies from other sources when conditions require.”
NAMA has 48 member companies operating 170 wheat, corn, oat and rye mills in 38 states, 150 cities and Canada.
CONTACT: Jim Bair, Vice President