Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Healthy Canadian dairy industry irks Donald Trump

Saying it's important to correct factual errors, Ambassador David MacNaughton said in a letter to the governors of Wisconsin and NY the facts don't support the contention that Canada's dairy policies are the cause of financial losses for dairy farmers in the United States.

The U.S. president's surprise decision to call out Canada by name Tuesday put dairy farmers north of the border on notice that they are in America's fair-trade sights.

On a visit to the USA cheese-making state of Wisconsin on Tuesday, Trump said he would "stand up for our dairy farmers" adding that "in Canada some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others".

Ottawa's envoy to Washington downplayed talk of growing trade irritants with the US, a day after President Donald Trump sharply criticized Canada's well-guarded dairy sector.

Cuomo and Walker wrote that roughly 70 NY dairy farmers and millions of dollars in sales have been impacted by new Canadian regulations that target imports of ultra-filtered milk, which is used to make cheese and yogurt.

Canada quickly sought to re-establish the "facts" after US President Donald Trump's attack on Canadian milk producers on Tuesday.

"The reality is, there haven't been any changes to Canadian regulations or tariffs", said David Wiens, who milks 220 cows and is chairman of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba.

On Tuesday, Trump targeted Canada explicitly in taking the next steps in his "Buy American, Hire American" policy, suggesting Wisconsin farmers are suffering because of the Canadian system.

Trump promises to work with Wisconsin's congressional delegation, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, to get a solution. On lumber, cheaper Canadian wood has reduced the cost of USA homes but also caused recurring legal spats with the US industry that alleges product-dumping.

"I strongly encourage other dairy processors to consider how they can be part of the solution", Brancel said.

"By virtue of economic weight alone, Trump has the overwhelming leverage to force open the protected Canadian dairy sector", said Canadian trade lawyer Larry Herman.

"So the Americans are not suffering from the current terms of NAFTA and existing trade agreements". "Because in Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers".

Although support for supply-management is one of the issues in contention in his party's ongoing leadership contest, Brown said the Conservatives' position remains in favour of the system. He prefaced them by saying, "I wasn't going to do this", then launched into complaints about Canadian dairy, wood, and energy and its impact on the U.S.

The order directs USA agencies to propose rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse in the program.

Watch The Agenda this Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. for more coverage on President Trump's comments on Canadian dairy farming.

Ultimately are Canadian dairy farmers afraid of what Donald Trump is saying?

"To the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Trudeau. back off!" He told The Canadian Press that despite some USA rhetoric and his rebuttal letter sent to US officials on Tuesday, he still expects "constructive discussions" between the two countries.

Under the supply management system, dairy farmers, as well as those who produce chicken, turkey and eggs, have quotas capping the amount they can produce. Canadians have rebuked those claims, arguing the USA produces too much milk in a global market already saturated with it. Canada's policy change to manipulate internal prices to export more dairy ingredients globally is of great concern to other nations beyond just the United States.

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