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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Agricultural Trade Disputes Between Canada and the United States: Costly but Diminishing

Commentary by Richard Barichello, Timothy Josling, Daniel Summer

In this Commentary Richard Barichello, Timothy Josling and Daniel Summer discuss the many trade disputes involving agricultural products that have arisen between the United States and Canada. As they explain, the development of free trade between the two nations has resulted in a high level of integration between their agricultural markets.When trade disputes develop, however, they are costly for both consumers and producers. Accordingly, the purpose of the authors study is to help reduce the number of agricultural trade disputes by better understanding them.

Through their study, Barichello, Josling and Summer found that the absolute number of disputes, and the dollar value of those disputes, between Canada and the US has not increased since 1989, rather it has remained the same. Given that agricultural trade has double since that time the impact of disputes, dollar for dollar, is actually one-half of what it was in 1989.

The second major finding of the study was that most disputes tended to arise over normal competitive frictions between producers in the two countries. Generally, Barichello, Josling, and Summer found these types of disputes would arise when one country’s exports would expand quickly; the other would respond with anti-dumping petitions. Barichello, Josling and Summer suggest these types of disputes rarely recur; those that have a tendency to recur, notably pertaining to trade in the areas of dairy and wheat, fall into the a separate category of disputes developed by the authors (disputes arising due to policy differences). Barichello, Josling and Summer make special mention of the Mad Cow disease and its impact on the trade relationship, noting that this issue does not fall under either of these categories.

Barichello, Josling and Summer recommend the institution of reforms to anti-dumping procedures coupled with the harmonization and of Canada-US policies on dairy and wheat to ensure better relations in agricultural trade in the future.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Richard Barichello; Timothy Josling; Daniel Summer;
Publisher: C.D. Howe Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Trade Disputes
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Canada - U.S. Relations
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Agriculture
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Agriculture / 2005
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Canada - U.S. Relations / 2005
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Trade Disputes / 2005
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral

Keywords / Tags:

Canada- U.S. relations; trade; agriculture; mad cow; dairy; wheat; competition; anti-dumping; countervailing; trade disputes; trade policy;