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NAMA Urges ITC to Deny Petition for Restricting Wheat Trade

October 8, 2002

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 8, 2002 – Representatives of the North American Millers' Association (NAMA) testified on Friday at a hearing of the International Trade Commission (ITC) which, along with the Department of Commerce, is reviewing antidumping and countervailing duty petitions filed by the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NWDC). NDWC is seeking again to restrict trade in wheat with Canada. The U.S. Trade Representative declined to impose such restrictions in February 2002 in response to a previous NDWC petition.

In a written statement submitted with its oral testimony, NAMA said, “Based on the evidence and on the milling industry's experiences as daily participants in the market, Canadian wheat is not unfairly traded into the U.S. market. In the strongest possible terms we urge the International Trade Commission to deny the petition.”

The NAMA statement highlighted supply and quality reasons behind the necessity for the imports in all years, but especially in 2002 when USDA estimates the wheat crop as the smallest in 31 years. And each year, according to the NDWC's own quality reports, significant portions of the state's crop fail to meet the milling quality grades of U.S. Number 1 or 2.

Testifying for NAMA at the hearing were: Randy Marten, Vice President, Miller Milling Company, St. Louis, MO; David Potter, Executive Vice President, American Italian Pasta Company, Kansas City, MO; James Meyer, Executive Vice President, Italgrani USA, Inc., St. Louis, MO; John Miller, President, Miller Milling Company, Minneapolis, MN; Greg Viers, Wheat Purchasing Manager, Barilla America, Inc., Ames, IA; and Glen Zearfoss, Vice President, Logistics, New World Pasta Company, Harrisburg, PA.

The NAMA spokesmen each stated that, in their years of purchasing wheat from Canada, they had never bought from the Canadian Wheat Board at less than market prices. “The bottom line is that U.S. millers will be facing quantity and quality constraints again this year, and Canadian imports will play an important role in filling that void,” according to the NAMA statement.

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.

Hill Contacts:
For a list of NAMA members go to
http://www.namamillers.org/oldsite/a_mbr.html.

For a list of the cities and states where mills are located go to http://www.namamillers.org/oldsite/a_mill.html

Media Contacts:
To read the complete statement, go to
http://www.namamillers.org/oldsite/is_briefs_ITCstatement.html.

For background information on NAMA, go to http://www.namamillers.org/oldsite/nr.html.

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