Canadian PM responds to Trump's criticism of dairy industry

Darin HammondApr 24, 2017

Reading from handwritten notes during an Oval Office signing for an unrelated memorandum, Trump called Canada's actions a "disgrace" and said the Canadian measures have hurt dairy farmers in Wisconsin and NY.

The dairy industry was reeling this week after accusations by U.S. President Donald Trump that the marketing system here is unfair to American producers.

Walker said he would like to see Canada at least delay its policy until a solution can be found. "People can't just stop milking, you can't just dump the milk...there's a real danger that if we get to the drop dead point and don't have a resolution, they're going to have to get out of farming...and that's just unacceptable", the governor said.

"We can all agree that, it is critical to level the playing field for our hard-working dairy farmers and make sure our Canadian neighbors rescind their unfair policy and again play by the rules", said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

"The fact of the matter is, is that we're already accepting way more dairy products into Canada than Canada is exporting into the states".

At a speech to factory workers in Wisconsin on Tuesday, Trump criticized Canadian dairy regulations and supply management system, calling trade between the two countries a "one-sided deal" that doesn't allow USA farmers to compete fairly.

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.

"We're going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly", Trump said. The president's comments have led many observers to speculate that dairy - and Canada's system of supply management - could be a target as the USA considers a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Gentiloni, who had been in Washington on Thursday, said Canada and Italy share a common, pro-trade world view and that they live in "interesting times". He and Trudeau on Friday were keen to display their support for free trade and open borders, including the Canada-EU free trade pact, amid growing populist opposition. He also said the anti-trade movement is bigger than one single country.

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