Trump attacks Canada's supply management for dairy as unfair to US

Trump attacks Canada's supply management for dairy as unfair to US

Canada's ambassador to Washington said Tuesday night that President Donald Trump is wrong when he says Canada's trade practices in the dairy industry are "very unfair".

"We are going to stand up for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin. that demands really, immediately fair trade with all our trading partners, and that includes Canada", Trump said during an appearance in Wisconsin, which along with NY could lose hundreds of millions of dollars if the dispute is not resolved.

After years of American farmers sending their ultra-filtered milk north of the border without being subject to tariffs, Ontario dairy farmers agreed last year to sell ultra-filtered milk to Canadian processors, such as Saputo Inc. and Parmalat Canada Inc., at prices competitive with global rates. It had been duty-free but Canada changed course after its milk producers complained.

About 70 dairy producers in both Wisconsin and NY are affected by the decision.

Trump promised a group of leaders including Gov. Scott Walker, several senators from Wisconsin and Speaker Ryan would join him to figure out the Canadian trade situation starting Tuesday. "We are going to have a great relationship with Canada".

Most dairy products sent to Canada are subject to heavy tariffs, but ultra-filtered milk from the US wasn't subject to those tariffs because it came into use after NAFTA was approved in 1994.

Dozens of dairy producers in Wisconsin and NY have been affected by the policy and have been up in arms for months, accusing Canada of flouting worldwide trade rules and preventing American farmers from fairly competing. "We stand ready to support your efforts to address this urgent dairy issue".

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A group of senators is urging the Trump administration to act against what they call "trade barriers" that are restricting USA dairy farmers' access to Canada.

U.S. dairy trade with Mexico has jumped by 558 percent since NAFTA's implementation in 1994, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

He says he will seek "fair trade" with all of America's trading partners "and that includes Canada". "We can assure you that Canadians purchasing goods in the United States or traveling to your country are less than thrilled to have to spend $1.25 Canadian for each American dollar due to the exchange rate", Genereaux wrote to the TV station. Trump says Canada has been "very, very unfair".

Senior finance officials who briefed reporters on the meetings suggest the order would run counter to protections Canada has secured through NAFTA.

USA dairy industry groups want Trump to urge Trudeau to halt a pricing policy that has disrupted some US dairy exports and prioritize dairy market access in NAFTA renegotiation talks. NAFTA has been very, very bad for our country.

Francois Dumontier, a spokesman for Les Producteurs de lait du Quebec, said imports of USA milk products have increased since 1993 and now account for three-quarters of milk products in Canada. "Now changes in Canada's pricing structure have slammed the door on dairy trade with the United States".

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