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Canada Plans Future U.S. Farm Program Challenges

Canadian Federation of Agriculture leader says new programs are needed if Doha Round remains stalled.

Bob Friesen says he will press the Canadian government to mount new challenges to American farm programs if the now suspended Doha Round of talks at the World Trade Organization are indefinitely delayed.

Friesen, the Manitoba farmer who heads Canada's largest farm group, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), told reporters today the Canadian government will need to come up with new programs to make the domestic grains and oilseed industry more competitive with the United States in the event the Doha Round is delayed. Friesen was speaking during a conference call with reporters from Geneva, Switzerland.

"We will support any action against the U.S. which is going to benefit Canadian farmers," Friesen said when asked whether Canada should mount new trade challenges to American farm programs.

Canadian corn growers challenged subsidized US corn imports in an action taken before domestic trade tribunals. The challenge was dropped at its final stage. But other actions against the American programs have been more successful. A WTO panel ruled against U.S. cotton programs, which operates many of the same programs as corn.

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