WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has asked Canada to end hog subsidies before entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.

“The Canadian subsidy programs distort the North American hog and pork market, limiting the growth of US production, employment and profitability,” said Doug Wolf, NPPC’s immediate past president and chairman of its trade committee. “Canada’s entry into the TPP negotiations should be contingent on renunciation of its trade-distorting subsidies.”

A study by Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State Univ., examined the Quebec subsidy program and found that a similar US program would increase US pork production by 8.4 percent annually. An additional 140 million hogs would be marketed over 10 years, with Iowa adding 41 million animals, according to the study.

Hayes’s research also found that the Ontario Risk Management Program would cut US pork production by more than 430,000 hogs over five years. This translates to $73 million and 600 jobs lost in the US. The risk management program would increase Canadian hog production by more than 606,000 hogs.

Canada has argued that the Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling law (MCOOL) has harmed the Canadian pork industry. The World Trade Organization ruled in May that the law violates WTO trade rules. NPPC is urging US trade representatives to comply with the WTO ruling.

“You can’t argue that MCOOL distorts the hog markets then ignore the far greater impact of the Canadian subsidy programs,” Wolf said.