The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has filed a letter with U.S. federal officials asking that the Canadian government end subsidies to its hog farmers.

The Nov. 19 letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Commerce seeks a bilateral agreement between the two countries “that will end the substantial payouts being given to Canadian hog farmers. This agreement would take the Canadian government out of the hog market and restore free trade to the marketplace,” says Jon Caspers, immediate past president of the NPPC.

This action follows NPPC's filing of countervailing and antidumping duty petitions on imports of Canadian live hogs. The Commerce Department has provisionally placed antidumping duties of 14% on live hog imports from Canada. The duty is to be paid by the importer of record.

Caspers says information released by the Canadian government (Figure 1) shows that in 1999, Canadian hog farmers had a net income of $44,000 Canadian on a per-farm basis. Of that amount, $43,000 was linked to government program payments. In 2002, Canadian hog farmers netted an average of $46,000; more than half, or $25,000, was linked to program payments, he adds. One Canadian dollar equaled about 84¢ U.S. at press time.