Live pigs became the object of the latest US-Canada trade spat on Friday as Washington slapped tariffs on Canadian hogs, claiming subsidies in Canada harm US livestock farmers. \nThe main US pork association praised the action, but it drew a sharp response from Ottawa and Canadian swine producers, and from a coalition of US groups contending the tariffs will hurt US producers. \nThe preliminary duties, pending a final determination, will range up to 15.01 percent to compensate for "dumping," or selling below fair market value, the Commerce Department said. \nThe Commerce Department acted on a petition from the National Pork Producers Council and several states' farm groups, contending that Canadian farmers have gotten some US$100 million in subsidies in recent years. \nBut some US groups bristled at the claims, saying tariffs will end up hurting many US farmers who import from Canada and then raise young pigs. \nThe duties "are unfair and will hurt hundreds of American farmers who buy Canadian pigs and raise them to market in the US," said John Block, a former US agriculture secretary and spokesman for Pork Trade Action Coalition, which opposes tariffs. \n"These duties are completely unjustified," said Block. "Canadian exports are not hurting the US industry -- they account for only 3.3 percent of the US market. In fact, US pork producers are enjoying record prices and record profits. \n"In addition," he said, "the price of hogs is set by the market -- not by Canadian exporters. The DOC has made a misguided trade policy decision that could wipe out many small farms in the Midwest." \nBut Jon Caspers of the Pork Producers Council said the decision "is compelled by the economic reality of the situation. Canadian hog producers unfairly benefit from huge subsidies that cause overproduction in Canada and allow Canadian producers to sell their hogs in the United States at artificially low prices." \nThe row marked the latest in a series of trade disputes with Canada involving wheat, dairy products, softwood and other other matters. \nLast year, the US imported some 7.4 million swine from Canada, with a value of some 389 million dollars, according to Commerce Department data. \nIn Ottawa, Jim Peterson, Canada's minister of international trade, criticized the move by Washington. \n"Imposing duties on Canadian live swine exports affects all of North America, given that our markets are so integrated," he said. \n"In fact, Canadian hog supplies are essential to the United States position as a leading pork exporter. We disagree with the decision to slap duties on Canadian swine and we will continue to strongly defend our industry as this process moves forward. We have one of the most competitive industries in the world." \nThe Canadian Pork Council said meanwhile it was "very disappointed" with the decision. \n"This is an additional expense for moving hogs into the United States and serves only to erode the free and fair trade that has made the North American hog and pork industry as successful as it is," the group said.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a