WTO to form panel in wheat dispute
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
WASHINGTON -- A World Trade Organization panel will mediate a dispute between the United States and Canada over Canadian wheat exports.
U.S. trade officials requested the three-person panel in March after earlier talks did not resolve the matter.
The panel will review U.S. allegations that the Canadian government provides unfair help to its wheat farmers by granting the Canadian Wheat Board special monopoly rights and by subsidizing the cost of shipping wheat by railroad.
The North Dakota Wheat Commission had complained about the Canadian Wheat Board to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, who brought the matter to the WTO in December.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Wheat Board controls wheat and barley exports from Canada's western prairie provinces.
Board members and the Canadian government reject the U.S. allegations.
The North Dakota wheat group said a decision is expected in about six months. ------
On the Net:
World Trade Organization: http://www.wto.org
U.S. Trade Representative: http://www.ustr.gov/
Canadian Wheat Board: http://www.cwb.ca/