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NAMA Praises Decision of International Trade Commission on Wheat Trade

October 5, 2005

Washington, DC – October 5, 2005 – NAMA applauds today’s announcement by the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling that imports of hard red spring wheat from Canada do not cause material injury to US growers – a reversal of its 2003 decision. 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.

In response to the 2003 decision, NAMA filed an appeal with the NAFTA Secretariat. A NAFTA appeals panel remanded the determination back to the ITC earlier this year, calling on the agency to correct nine specific faults. If affirmed by that NAFTA panel, today’s decision will result in the rescinding of tariffs of about 14 percent on imports of Canadian wheat.

“Critical errors formed the basis for the original ITC decision, including ignoring the agency’s own analysis that showed US millers almost always have to pay more, not less, for Canadian wheat,” said John Miller, president, Miller Milling Company and chairman of NAMA’s ad hoc committee lending expertise in the case. “We commend the ITC for making the correct determination.”

“We stand ready to work with growers to identify ways they can strengthen their ability to compete, as opposed to merely trying to eliminate the competition,” Miller continued. “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.

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

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