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AMI Victorious: Tariffs Lifted on Canadian Cattle

Tuesday, November 9, 1999

The American Meat Institute today won a critical victory when the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) removed tariffs on Canadian cattle imports. The final USITC determination effectively ends the dumping case: anti-dumping tariffs on imported Canadian cattle will be lifted and all duties collected since July will be refunded to U.S. importers.

By a 5-1 vote, the USITC determined that U.S. imports of Canadian cattle are not materially injuring, or threaten material injury, to the U.S. cattle industry.

The ITC case stemmed from a U.S. Department of Commerce investigation in response to a 1998 petition filed by the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Foundation (R-CALF). R-CALF alleged that Canadian cattle were being "dumped" in the United States market. After the Department of Commerce ruling in July, U.S. customs has collected an anti-dumping duty of approximately 5 ½ percent, ad valorem, on most cattle imported into the U.S. from Canada.

AMI this year retained outside legal counsel to counter the allegations made by the petitioners. In addition, several AMI member companies submitted economic data and testified at a USITC hearing in October that imports of Canadian cattle represent a miniscule share – less than three percent – of total U.S. cattle supplies.

The R-CALF petitioners were supported by nine U.S. senators and four congressmen from five states at a USITC hearing – an unprecedented Congressional turnout. Although the level of Canadian cattle imports is relatively low and declining, the USITC was under considerable political pressure to find injury in the case.

“We applaud USITC’s courage in resisting unprecedented political pressure to reach a fair and objective determination,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle. “AMI strongly opposed the imposition of anti-dumping tariffs on Canadian cattle and the restraint of free trade. Historically, livestock and meat trade within North American has been relatively unrestricted. Anti-dumping tariffs make absolutely no sense in a regional market context. The USITC decision will benefit American consumers and leave North American trade patterns intact."

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Sara Lilygren
Senior VP, Public Affairs

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