OTTAWA, Ontario -- The Animal Industry Corn Users, a coalition of Canadian livestock groups, said it was shocked and outraged by yesterday's decision to maintain a duty of $US 1.65/bushel on U.S. grain corn imports.

The coalition -- consisting of the Canadian Pork Council, Canadian Cattlemen's Association, and Animal Nutrition Association of Canada -- was reacting to the Canadian Borders Services Agency final decision to reaffirm the preliminary determination of dumping and subsidizing, and maintain the duty of $US 1.65/bushel until the Canadian International Trade Tribunalconcludes its inquiry in mid-April.

The group said the only glimmer of hope was the reduction of the dumping and countervail margin to $US 1.47/bushel.

Clare Schlegel, president of the Canadian Pork Council said, "The newly established rate is still prohibitively high, and doesn't prove that Canadian corn producers are suffering injury caused by U.S. corn imports. We will argue this at next week's Trade Tribunal hearings."

On April 18, the CITT will issue a final injury decision on U.S. grain corn imports.

Ian McKillop, a director of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said, "We are confident that we can demonstrate to the CITT that imports of U.S. grain corn are not causing injury to Canadian corn growers, nor is there a causal connection between these imports and U.S. subsidies."

"Canada is a net importer of grain corn. The evidence, over many years, is that U.S. corn imports are residual and complementary to Canadian production", said Kathleen Sullivan, general manager of the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada.

"We have offered to work cooperatively with corn growers and governments to find solutions that do not negatively impact other Canadian industries," McKillop said. "We were prepared to engage in cooperative discussions at any time with counterparts who are willing to seek out common ground."

SOURCE: Canadian Pork Council news release via CNNMatthews.