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NAMA Opposes Efforts to Restrict Trade in Wheat Between the U.S. and Canada

September 17, 2002

CONTACT: James Bair, Vice President
202.484.2200, ext.107
jbair@namamillers.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 17, 2002 – The North American Millers' Association (NAMA) expressed disappointment that the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NWDC) filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission (ITC), seeking again to restrict trade in wheat with Canada. NAMA supports the United States Trade Representative's decision last February not to set tariff rate quotas on wheat as had been petitioned by the NDWC.

In December 2001, the ITC issued a report in response to the previous petition of the NWDC. The Commission reported that in its five-year study of wheat purchase contracts, U.S. millers paid higher prices for wheat from Canada in 59 of the 60 months. “Based on these findings, we don't believe that meets the definition of dumping,” said NAMA chairman Bernard J. Rothwell III.

U.S. millers buy Canadian wheat for specific milling or baking properties and to supplement the U.S. crop. The U.S. durum crop was insufficient to meet demand in 15 out of the last 15 years. The hard red spring wheat crop was insufficient in 12 of the last 15 years. According to the North Dakota Wheat Commission's own quality reports, less than one-half of the crop each year meets the milling quality grades of U.S. Number 1 or 2.

U.S. millers buy far more wheat from U.S. growers, and actually buy as much U.S. wheat as all foreign buyers combined. The severe drought in both the U.S. and Canada this year highlights the necessity of having access to the entire North American crop.

“It has been NAMA's longstanding position that the monopoly powers of State Trading Enterprises, including the Canadian Wheat Board, should be challenged through the World Trade Organization negotiations. The U.S. Government is doing that now and they have our support,” Rothwell stated.

NAMA has 42 member companies operating 164 wheat, corn, oat and rye mills in 38 states and 150 cities. Its membership represents about 90% of the total U.S. capacity.

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