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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Saskatchewan

WIENS, UPSHALL AND BRADLEY CALL FOR FEDERAL ACTION ON US DURUM SUBSIDY

Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Berny Wiens,

Agriculture and Food Minister Eric Upshall and Highways and

Transportation Minister Judy Bradley today called on the federal

government to take immediate action to challenge a US government

program that is severely depressing the international price and market

for durum wheat and injuring Saskatchewan producers.



The US Government is guaranteeing durum wheat prices to US producers

at a level in excess of $8.00 Cdn, more than double the current

international market prices. This price guarantee has spurred US

durum wheat producers to increase the acreage seeded to durum by 12

per cent, which is further depressing the already low prices received

by our durum producers.



"It is time for Canada to stand up for our grain producers and create

a level international playing field," Wiens said. "I have called on

International Trade Minister Sergio Marchi to take immediate action to

address this issue with the United States under the recent Canada US

Record of Understanding on Agricultural Trade. I am also seeking his

commitment to get a better deal for our farmers in the next round of

agricultural negotiations at the World Trade Organization."



"Saskatchewan grain producers are among the most efficient in the

world," Upshall said. "However, they can't compete against the

American treasury when it provides subsidies to US durum

producers. This subsidy simply sends the wrong signals to US

producers to increase their durum acreage at a time when market

signals indicate that there are already adequate supplies of

durum."



Bradley said, "At the same time that the European Union and the

US have continued to heavily subsidize their agricultural

producers, the federal government has cut its support to farmers,

eliminated the Crow Rate, deregulated the grain transportation

system, and dramatically reduced its funding for agricultural

safety nets. While the federal government is seeking negotiated

solutions, it must also take immediate steps to protect and

support our grain producers."



The Canada - US Record of Understanding on Agricultural Trade is

a recently signed bilateral agreement designed to address

agricultural trade issues and irritants. The WTO negotiations on

agriculture are expected to begin in November in Seattle.



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For more information, contact:



Rob Cunningham

Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs

Regina

Phone: (306) 787-8008
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