Reuters is reporting Canada imposes duties on unprocessed U.S. corn.

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – The Canada Border Services Agency has set a provisional anti-dumping duty of 58 U.S. cents a bushel on unprocessed grain corn imported from the United States, and a provisional countervailing duty of US$1.07 a bushel, the Canada Border Services Agency said on Thursday.

The total duty will be US$1.65 on U.S. imports. The duties will be effective immediately.

Unprocessed corn is imported primarily for hog and poultry feed. It can also be used to make ethanol gas.

The Ontario Corn Producers’ Association was one of three groups to file a complaint against corn imports last August, alleging the dumping and subsidizing of U.S. corn harms Canadian production and cuts farm incomes.

The livestock industry has said it fears the duties will raise costs for feeding Canadian piglets, making it cheaper to export them to U.S. feeder barns.

The Canada Border Services Agency will continue its investigation of the dumping and subsidizing of unprocessed grain corn and is set to make its final decision by March 15, 2006. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal will begin a full inquiry regarding possible injury to the Canadian industry and is set to issue a decision by April 14, 2006.

The key question in my mind: Is this retaliation from Canada over lumber disputes that are still not resolved, or is this something unrelated.

Previously we asked are Lumber Dispute Resolved?
But it seems US “agreement” only reduced rather than eliminated lumber tariffs.

Meanwhile, the Taipei Times is reporting Canadian leader rebuffs US warning.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin warned on Wednesday he would not “be dictated to,” one day after the US ambassador told Canadian lawmakers not to drag the US’ good name through the mud.

Martin, fighting for his political life ahead of a Jan. 23 election, said on the campaign trail: “I am not going to be dictated to as to the subjects I should raise.”

“This dispute with the US demands leadership at the national level in Canada, even if that leadership happens to rankle some in the US,” Martin said.

The Canadian leader spoke after US Ambassador David Wilkins urged Canadian politicians on Tuesday to watch what they said about his country.

“Canada never has to tear the United States down to build itself up,” Wilkins said, adding, “it may be smart election-year politics to thump your chest and criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner constantly.

“But it is a slippery slope, and all of us should hope that it doesn’t have a long-term impact on the relationship,” he said.

Relations between the two neighbors chilled after Canada declined to support the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. A poll in Canada last month found 38 percent of respondents thought US President George W. Bush was the world’s most dangerous figure.

However, other issues have tarnished US-Canadian relations, including a spat over Canadian softwood lumber exports and differences over environmental policies.

Martin is campaigning for re-election after his scandal-tainted Liberal Party minority government was ousted in a no-confidence vote.

If this is the opening volley in massive trade disputes things can get very ugly very fast especially if Canada suspends natural gas shipments to the US.
Whatever it going on, it seems US/Canadian relationships took a turn for the worse. I fail to see how this can do anyone any good.

Mike Shedlock / Mish/