Trump says NAFTA plan coming within two weeks, blasts Canada's dairy practices

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

Trump brought the issue up again on Thursday, saying "rules, regulations, different things have changed" and are putting dairy farmers in Wisconsin and NY state.

Monica and Dave Roskopf say they are thankful but not more optimistic about their future as dairy farmers after President Donald Trump took their side in a dispute with Canada this week.

Walker issued a joint letter to Trump with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday.

Speaking in Kenosha, the president specifically mentioned Canada's dairy supply management system, which he called "one-sided" and one which doesn't let US farmers compete fairly.

The Montreal Economic Institute recommends limiting protectionism in both industries to help consumers, spur economic productivity, and ultimately create more successful businesses in both countries.

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.

Through NAFTA, U.S. dairy farmers are able to export ultra-filtered milk - a high-protein milk concentrate used to make cheese and yogurt - to Canada duty-free.

Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of "no baloney" to "full of baloney" (complete methodology below).

Ambassador David MacNaughton says despite some USA rhetoric - and his own rebuttal letter released Tuesday - he still expects there will be "constructive discussions" between the two countries because so many jobs on both sides of the border depend on trade.

As it prepares to enter continental trade negotiations this fall, the U.S.is weighing other actions that affect Canada. "We are going to have a great relationship with Canada".

The United States is the world's biggest cheese exporter outside Europe.

The department was due to release the results of that investigation on May 4, but it asked for an extension in order to have "sufficient time to obtain and review all relevant information from the parties to this proceeding", according to the U.S. Federal Register, a daily journal of the U.S. government.

President Donald Trump talks about an executive memorandum on investigation of steel imports that he was about to sign, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. "Simply put, in the U.S, and around the world, too much milk is being produced".

There's also what's called ultra filtered milk that is not subject to a tariff. "The Americans and other countries choose to subsidize to the tune of hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, their agricultural industries including their dairy". Russian Federation is buying less milk from the Europe because of sanctions, and China is buying less milk, which affects everybody.

Canada recently changed its policy on pricing its domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including ultra-filtered milk that compete with the USA product.

Estimates of how much of Canada's softwood lumber is shipped to the US are as high as 70 per cent, but the Trudeau government has placed a priority on finding new trade markets in Asia - especially China - for a variety of goods and services. Canadian processors and producers are adjusting the relative price of ingredients to maintain a domestic market for those ingredients.

Martha Hall Findlay, the president of the Canada West Foundation, is one of them.

"To me, fundamentally, that's the market working".

After milk, what other Canadian products are likely to be affected by President Trump's commercial prejudice?

And he did not need more to say that NAFTA was "a complete disaster" for the United States.

"In this particular case, it's not contrary to the trade agreements".

Bernier says Canadians suffer more under supply management than Americans and if elected leader he promises to abolish the system. "It works really well, it provides a stable supply of milk, it supplies us with a stable income". He suggested it has stalled his attempt to renegotiate NAFTA.

"There are a lot of milk producers in the US that are complaining about it".

"I don't think farmers have anything to worry about", he says.

For that reason, the US industry statement in the letter to Trump earns a rating of "a lot of baloney".

Other reports by VgToday

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