Tester fights to remove unfair trade practices
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is fighting to eliminate unfair Canadian trade practices that artificially downgrade the value of Montana wheat and hurt farmers’ bottom lines.
Under current Canadian law, wheat grown in the U.S. is automatically downgraded to the lowest quality designation of wheat, known as feed wheat, when it crosses the border. The U.S., however, provides a fair examination of wheat imported from Canada. This trade discrepancy punishes Montana farmers who sell their products in Canada, but does not reciprocate that punishment for Canadian producers who export their products to the U.S.
Tester is introducing a Senate Resolution that demands Canada change its wheat grading procedure to be equivalent and fair to Montana farmers. Tester’s Senate Resolution also demands the Trump Administration examine whether Canada’s wheat grading laws adhere to existing trade agreements.
“Montana farmers work hard and harvest the best wheat in the world, and it is wrong that they aren’t paid a fair price when selling it in Canada,” Tester said. “This resolution will bring to the surface this unfair Canadian trade practice, so we can ensure Montana farmers aren’t disadvantaged when selling wheat in Canadian markets. Every farmer knows that Hard Amber Wheat Duram is not feed wheat, and Montana should get the fair price they deserve.”
Tester has raised specific concerns regarding unfair Canadian trade practices with the Canadian Minister of Agriculture, and he urged the former U.S. Trade Representative to take action on this issue last year. Canada is Montana’s largest trade partner. The U.S. and Canada traded $575 billion in goods in 2015.