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Monday, 9th April 2007

American Corn and Canadian Trade Actions: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

American Corn and Canadian Trade Actions: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back (PDF; 63 KB)
Source: C.D. Howe Institute

On January 8 this year, the Canadian government initiated what will be one of Canada’s largest trade disputes against the United States, by challenging US Farm Bill subsidies for corn, soy and other grain products at the World Trade Organization (WTO). This case is the first of its kind launched by Canada, not only attacking existing Farm Bill programs but implicitly challenging any revitalized subsidy programs that might appear in Farm Bill replacement legislation currently before Congress.

The case prompts the question of whether, and to what extent, it is part of a larger policy strategy being pursued by the Harper government. Does it reflect a principled effort to take pro-market positions in multilateral forums or, as seems more likely, is it a political response to domestic pressures?


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