Trump attacks Canada's supply management for dairy as unfair to U.S.

Cheryl Sanders
April 21, 2017

A Canadian government minister said Thursday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration is looking forward to trade negotiations with Donald Trump despite the USA president's recent ramp up of criticism of Canadian policy.

Dairy farmers in the US complain it's a new tariff that closes the Canadian market to them.

Trump, however, blamed Canada for "some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others and we're going to start working on that".

That was the backstory behind the US president's surprise decision to call out Canada by name Tuesday, putting dairy farmers north of the border on notice that they are in America's fair-trade sights.

"Canada, what they've done to our dairy farm workers, is a disgrace". Canada changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including ultra-filtered milk that compete with USA milk.

Not everyone, however, agrees with his well thought out remarks about the over reaction on this side of the border about the new president of the United States of America.

Canadian Natural Resource Minister Jim Carr told The Associated Press the government's actions are based on facts and says jobs can be created through integration of the two economies.

There have been some news media reports of Americans fleeing to Canada and Justin Trudeau has proclaimed that Canada's doors are wide open. It had been duty free but Canada changed course after milk producers there complained. That's almost double the value exported to Canada, the country's second biggest export market, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, and U.S. Sen. "It's a disgrace", Trump said.

"We know that dairy producers in the U.S are going through tough times; however, incorrectly laying the blame on an unrelated Canadian domestic policy will not improve their situation. It's another typical one-sided deal against the United States and it's not going to be happening for long", he said. He said it was caused by US and global overproduction of milk.

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

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.

Friction between NY and Canada - the state's largest worldwide trade partner - created by "protectionist" milk policies north of the border isn't cooling down.

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