WTO Rejects Wheat Appeal

USW says world trade talks need to address "outdated and trade-distorting monopolies" including the Australian and Canadian Wheat Board. Compiled by staff

Published on: Sep 1, 2004

The United States lost an appeal in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body upheld an early finding of a WTO panel of trade Judge's that the Canadian Wheat Board's "exclusive right to buy and sell western Canadian grain for export, and its right to set the initial price, did not break world trade rules," according to Reuters.

"The appellate finding underscores the inability of the current WTO rules to adequately prevent and punish unfair practices of state trading enterprises," explains Chairman of the North Dakota Wheat Commission Harlan Klein, who farms near Elgin, N.D.

"This decision clearly demonstrates the need for new WTO rules to ban state-authorized export monopolies such as the Canadian and Australian wheat boards," adds U.S. Wheat Associate President Alan Tracy.

"The outcome of the WTO appeal is like pounding your head against a wall," he says. "Fortunately for wheat growers in the United States who have to compete for sales against Canada's government-controlled, monopoly marketing board, the proverbial wall is not concrete. Instead, it is slowly crumbling through negotiation of the agricultural portion of a new WTO agreement."

"The current rules are obviously not strong enough to curb the trade distorting practices of these archaic, socialistic and anti-competitive beasts," Tracy says. "We place our hopes in the Doha Round negotiations and our faith in our U.S. negotiators to bring an end to these outdated and trade distorting monopolies."

The WTO dispute settlement body now has 30 days in which to accept or reject the full report from the original dispute settlement panel, including the appellate body report.