Canada to probe claims of Turkish pasta dumping

Three Canadian makers of dry wheat pasta have got their wish for a probe into whether competing products from Turkey are being dumped into the Canadian market.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced Tuesday it has launched an investigation into whether certain pasta products originating in or exported from Turkey are being sold at unfair prices in Canada.

The CBSA probe will also look at whether subsidies are being applied to the Turkish products in question, the agency said.

A parallel preliminary inquiry by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) will examine whether the imports are harming Canadian producers, the tribunal said Friday.

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The probes follow a complaint from three dry wheat pasta makers — Italpasta of Brampton, Ont., Toronto-based Primo Foods and Montreal-area processor Grisspasta Products — under the banner of the Canadian Pasta Manufacturers Association in Ottawa.

The CPMA members allege their industry faces “lost production, lost sales, price depression, loss of employment, and reduced profitability” due to price undercutting from Turkey, CBSA said Tuesday.

The goods in question are described as “all dry wheat-based pasta, not stuffed or otherwise prepared, and not containing more than two per cent eggs, whether or not enriched, fortified, organic, whole wheat or containing milk or other ingredients, originating in or exported from the Republic of Turkey, excluding refrigerated, frozen or canned pasta.”

The CPMA has been publicly airing allegations of pasta dumping from Turkey for about two years now. CPMA president Don Jarvis told Allan Dawson of the Manitoba Co-operator in early 2016 that Turkish processors were taking advantage of subsidies to make their products using imported Canadian durum and dump those products back into Canada.

In their announcements this week, neither the CBSA nor CITT named any specific company alleged to be moving the Turkish pasta in question to Canada.

Responding last year to the CPMA allegations, the CEO of Saskatchewan-based AGT Food and Ingredients, owner of Turkish pasta processor Arbel Foods, was quoted in Regina’s Leader-Post newspaper as saying the alleged value of the imported Turkish pasta in question was “less than tiny” relative to that of Saskatchewan’s durum exports to Turkey.

CBSA’s specific reasons for agreeing to the investigation won’t be released until Jan. 12, after which importers have until Jan. 18 to respond to CBSA requests for information. Responses from exporters and government are due Feb. 5.

Meanwhile, the CITT expects to issue a preliminary decision by Feb. 26 on whether the Turkish imports cause harm to Canadian producers, and issue its reasons either way by March 13.

Parties or governments wanting to take part in the CITT inquiry have until Jan. 10 to file, while parties opposed to the complaint have until Jan. 25 to file submissions. Rebuttals to those submissions are due by Feb. 1.

CBSA said it would either announce its preliminary findings as to whether the imports are being sold in Canada at unfair and/or subsidized prices, or would shut down its probe without further measures taken, by March 28.

If CBSA’s preliminary findings warrant a full probe, the agency said, it expects to make its final determinations by June 26. — AGCanada.com Network

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