Hamilton-Wentworth Corn Producers Association

September 13, 2005 08:03 ET

Hamilton-Wentworth Corn Producers Vote Against Countervailing Duty

COPETOWN, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 13, 2005) - Corn producers at a special meeting of the Hamilton-Wentworth Corn Producers Association voted overwhelmingly last night to support the resolution put forward by Brant County corn producers calling on the Ontario Corn Producers Association to withdraw its application for anti-dumping and countervailing duties pending further consideration and consultation with its membership, all agricultural commodity organizations, and the general and national farm organizations.

The extraordinary meeting of the Hamilton-Wentworth Corn Producers Association, held on the eve of the OCPA's semi-annual General Meeting in London, was called out of growing producer concern that insufficient thought has been given to the OCPA's complaint against U.S. corn imports filed with the Canadian Services Border Agency.

Hamilton-Wentworth Corn Producers Association President Mark Baker summarized the concerns raised by those who were present at the meeting. "The imposition of a countervailing duty on U.S. corn imports will have both immediate and long-term impacts on all users of corn in Canada. We felt that we cannot go down this road without careful consultation with everyone affected by this action."

Serious concerns about the OCPA's action, undertaken by the Board of Directors of the organization without any consultation with either corn producer members or other agricultural commodity groups, has already sparked the ire of pork and beef producers who would potentially face dramatically increased feed costs. The corn producer members of Ontario's two ethanol co-operatives have also raised major objections to the proposed countervailing duty on U.S. corn which would drive up prices for all domestic corn users.

"We all want to see higher prices for corn," said Wentworth area corn producer Mark Comley, "but not if the impact of that is to drive away most of our best customers. Maintaining and expanding our demand base for corn in Ontario is critical for our long term survival as an industry."

Comley also questioned how thoroughly the OCPA could have studied the impact of a countervailing duty on Canadian producers if they didn't consult with anyone. "I don't care how many economic textbooks and legal cases they've read before initiating this action. They haven't talked to the beef and pork and ethanol corn users, or any of the other consumers of their corn and surely the people involved in those industries on a day-to-day basis must have something of value to add."

Contact Information

  • Hamilton-Wentworth Corn Producers Association
    Mark Baker
    (905) 648-0351