ITC Victory for Free Market Beef Council
OAKLAND, CA – Today's U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decision was a great victory for the National Meat Association Free Market Beef Council. The ITC concluded 5 to 1 that imports of live cattle from Canada are not causing, or threatening to cause, material injury to the domestic cattle industry.
In 1998, a group of cattle producers calling itself the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Foundation (R-CALF) filed a petition with the government claiming that Canadian cattle were being unfairly subsidized and dumped on the U.S. market. If successful, the R-CALF action would have meant potentially damaging countervailing and antidumping duties on cattle imports from Canada. It might also have triggered retaliatory action by Canada and similar actions against U.S. exports by other trading partners. Five of NMA’s beef slaughter members, E.A. Miller, Schenk Packing Co., Packerland Packing Company, Ferry Bros. Inc., and Washington Beef, Inc., formed the Free Market Beef Council and retained legal counsel on October 15, 1998 to represent them against the R-CALF petition. Their victory today benefits all U.S. packers that import Canadian cattle.
The ITC will discuss in detail the reasons for its decision on November 17 when its final determination is relayed to the Commerce Department. The Commerce Department will then notify the Customs Service which will refund cash deposits of estimated antidumping duties to U.S. importers of Canadian cattle. Importers do not need to apply for refunds.
National Meat Association is a non-profit trade association representing meat packers and processors, as well as equipment manufacturers and suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. The association, with over 600 members throughout the United States, includes membership in Canada, Australia and Mexico.