NAMA Looks Forward to Final Stage of Wheat Import InvestigationMay 2, 2003
CONTACT: James Bair, Vice President
Washington, D.C. – May 2, 2003 – The North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) reacted today to a Department of Commerce announcement that it was establishing a preliminary duty on wheat imports from Canada pending completion of a final investigation of a dumping petition.
“Alleging dumping at this time is just silly. Wheat stocks are at or near the lowest levels in decades and in some cases the smallest since the late 1940s, when wheat stocks were drawn down as a result of U.S food aid to post-war- Europe,” said John Gillcrist, NAMA chairman. “But we will, of course, cooperate fully by providing the data our government requests. We are confident when the data are analyzed, the Administration can only draw one conclusion, and that is wheat is traded fairly in the North American market. After all, the U.S. International Trade Commission reported last year that U.S. millers had to pay higher prices, not lower, for Canadian wheat than for U.S. wheat in 59 out of the 60 months it studied.”
Gillcrist continued “We do not defend the monopoly powers of any State Trading Entity (STE) including the Canadian Wheat Board, and have testified to that publicly six times in the past. As early as 2000, NAMA stated publicly that `‘We are firm supporters of the Administration’s stated position to impose disciplines on the actions of State Trading Entities during the next Round of WTO Agriculture Negotiations.’ What we do defend is our legal right to access the entire North American wheat crop.”
There have been major shifts in production occurring in North Dakota as government farm programs encouraged growers toward soybean production and away from wheat. As a result, North Dakota soybean plantings grew from 850,000 acres in 1996 to 2.75 million acres in 2002, according to US Department of Agriculture figures.
During that same period, North Dakota spring wheat plantings dropped from 9.6 million acres to 6.9 million acres and North Dakota durum plantings dropped from 3.0 million acres down to 2.1 million acres. Further, according to North Dakota Wheat Commission quality reports, each year only about one-half of the state’s durum crop meets the milling quality grades of US Number 1 or 2.
Finally, farmers in North Dakota and Montana, the top spring wheat and durum producing states, have locked up an additional seven million acres in the long-term Conservation Reserve Program.
NAMA has 44 member companies operating 170 wheat, corn, oat and rye mills in 38 states and 150 cities. Its members produce about 160 million pounds of product daily, which is 90% of the total U.S. capacity.
Open Borders (301 Petition): Should the United States keep the border open for unrestricted trade with Canada in wheat and products? NAMA says yes.Supply and demand considerations, including quality problems in the U.S. crop, make access to the entire North American wheat crop absolutely essential for the milling industry to remain efficient and competitive.
NAMA Urges ITC to Deny Petition for Restricting Wheat Trade , news release, October 8, 2002
NAMA Opposes Efforts to Restrict Trade in Wheat Between the U.S. and Canada, news release September 17, 2002
The North American Millers’ Association Defends Free Trade with Canada, news release, April 23, 2002
The North American Millers’ Association Applauds Administration Decision on Wheat Trade -news release, February 15, 2002
NAMA’s comments in response to the request for public comment on the wheat trading practices of the Canadian Wheat Board – January 14, 2002
International Trade Commission Report Supports Continued Free Trade in Wheat between the U.S. and Canada – NAMA news release, January 2, 2002
NAMA talking points on the report by the International Trade Commission
Testimony before the International Trade Commission – June 6, 2001.