Canadian, U.S. Trade Woes Continue

Published online: Mar 21, 2001
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About 300 growers along with supporters shut out 700 workers at the Federal Tax Center in Summerside, PEI, Can., for 12 hours Tuesday.

Some 80 tractors and trucks were used along with people carrying placards and making speeches to protest the Canadian government's handling of the U.S. border closure to PEI potatoes because of the potato wart fungus.

In addition, growers from throughout Canada held a protest in Ottawa claiming they can't compete. They maintain Canadians receive subsidies of nine cents on every dollar while American growers receive about 40 cents and European growers 60 cents.

Canadians are also fighting the possibility of duties being imposed on Canadian lumber by the U.S. for shipments of lumber over certain quota limits.

The U.S. is also investigating the Canadian mussel industry for anti-dumping. At the same time, Canada has told French students planning an exchange visit to postpone their trip because of the foot and mouth cattle disease problem in France.

Finally, some 30 groups are already lined up to protest at the (extended) Free Trade of the Americas meeting set for Quebec City April 20-22. Police plan to set a steel perimeter fence around the conference area to keep protestors from interfering with the confab to avoid a scenario like the one at the WTO meeting in Seattle.