Trade war brewing over wheat

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REGINA, Sask. — The last thing Canadian truckers need is another trade dispute between Canada and the U.S., but it appears wheat may be the next U.S. target.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a report, investigating the Canadian Wheat Board’s (CWB) grain-trading practices.

The report resulted from a complaint against the CWB by the North Dakota Wheat Commission. But the CWB insists there are many holes in the 180-page report.

“There are a lot of things in there that are not factually correct,” CWB spokesperson Justin Kohlman tells local media. One example he says is the claim the CWB is, “in all significant respects, an arm of the Canadian government.”

Despite the fact the board receives some assurances from the feds, he insists those benefits don’t allow the agency to sell grain at reduced prices. The report also accuses the board of reducing its prices for Canadian mills in order to prevent the import of U.S. wheat or flour into Canada.

The North Dakota commission says the CWB was uncooperative in the procedure, and that further action could be taken. The complaint is expected to be ruled on by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Jan. 22.

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