U.S. potato exporters again expressed their displeasure with Canadian officials about a long-running antidumping tariff on American potatoes exported to British Columbia.
Exporters, however, have little hope that the Canadian International Trade Tribunal will remove the duty on U.S. potatoes, said Matt Harris, trade director for the Moses Lake-based Washington State Potato Commission.
In late July, U.S. potato representatives appeared in a Canadian court to argue against the duty; a ruling is expected in September.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal meets every five years to consider whether or not to continue the dumping duty, which was first put in place more than 25 years ago, Harris said. In 2005, the tribunal concluded that removing the duty would result in a $1.2 million loss in revenue for British Columbia potato growers.
British Columbia potato growers testified in late July that the dumping tariff should be maintained, while the Washington State Potato Commission and Washingtonâs Attorney Generalâs Office made the argument that the duty should go away.
âIt is an unfair marketing tool they have established,â Harris said. âThe reason they want the order is so they can establish a floor price.â
The Canadian duty, which varies by pack and variety, applies to russet and white potatoes packed in 90-, 100- and 110-count cartons, consumer bags and 50-pound and 100-pound bags.
Harris said if the Canadian tribunal does decide to keep the antidumping tariff in place, U.S. potato interests may look at taking their case to the World Trade Organization.
âWe are working to see if it is even possible to take this up the ladder,â he said.