Reacting to the decision of the Canadian government to investigate allegations of U.S. corn export subsidies, Ken Hobbie, president of the U.S. Grains Council, said "Border skirmishes like the action taken detract from the big picture issues."
Hobbie added that he understands Canadian growers' concerns over low market prices for corn but he insisted that growers would be better off putting their energies into strengthening World Trade Organization rules and limiting trade restricting practices which negatively impact farmers around the world.
"I wish we could forge a closer working relationship with our Canadian counterparts, in bringing about significant reforms at the negotiating table in Geneva," said Hobbie. "We can't lose sight of the goal line. Documented trade limiting practices by the European Union and others shouldn't be acceptable to farmers on either side of the 49th parallel," said Hobbie. "We applaud our government for taking the lead by tabling a comprehensive WTO proposal, in Geneva, in June. I urge my Canadian counterparts to step up to the plate and offer their creative ideas for meaningful reform."
The U.S. Grains Council is a private, non-profit partnership of agribusinesses and producers committed to building and expanding international markets for U.S. barley, corn, grain sorghum and their products. The council has 11 international offices that oversee programs in over 80 countries. Support for the council comes from its producer and agribusiness members and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.