Canadian Trade Woes Continue

Published online: Sep 18, 2000
Washington state potato growers are getting pretty frustrated with Canada over the anti-dumping tariffs being levied against United States imports.

In a decision by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Sept. 13, Washington state growers were again prevented from shipping potatoes into British Columbia at general market prices.

The review was conducted by the CITT as a result of legal challenges by the Washington State Potato Commission to stop the Canadian government from imposing duties on Washington potatoes. Duties have been in effect since 1984.

"We are certainly disappointed," WSPC Executive Director Pat Boss stated. "Our growers and shippers should not be prevented from selling at general market prices in British Columbia."

The three-member tribunal heard evidence from both sides in July. The WSPC legal team and expert witnesses argued that Washington state potatoes were not being sold at less than the cost of production and that B. C. potato industry problems were not caused by imports.

"We presented a strong case," Joel Junker, Seattle trade attorney who represented Washington growers, said. "However, it's always difficult for a Canadian tribunal to rule against the Canadian industry." The WSPC is considering appeal options.