Trump vows to back US dairy farmers in Canada trade spat

Posted April 20, 2017

Even though Ellis welcomes Trump's critique of Canada's dairy trade restrictions, he doesn't think the Canadian government will change course.

"Wisconsin and NY dairy farmers are only the first victims of Canada's illicit dairy trade restrictions", the two governors wrote.

Australia and New Zealand dairy industry leaders said on Wednesday they would support moves by the United States to draw the World Trade Organization into a trade dispute with Canada, after President Donald Trump said existing rules were unfair.

"Mexico is our biggest destination for dairy and it's not only dairy", said Fairfield farmer Harold Howrigan Jr., of the USA trade partnership with Mexico. Instead, they fault the USA for producing too much milk in a global marketplace that is already flooded with the product. Showcasing the contributions of Canadian dairy farmers in the building and growth of our country, the book was created in celebration of the 150 anniversary of Canada.

Supply management does have critics within Canada who believe it's not only a problem in worldwide trade negotiations but also results in higher costs for consumers and the food industry in general. "We have actually allowed more imports of dairy products into our country as a percentage (of GDP) than they have in theirs", he added.

"In Canada, supply management is literally about matching supply with demand, and for us that avoids over production and it reduces the impact of the devastating market fluctuations that we do see right around the world, including in the U.S." said Weins.

And it's expensive. Under supply management, our government doesn't spend billions on farm subsidies the way the US does.

After Trump's attack, Canada's ambassador to the US sent a letter to the governors of Wisconsin and NY saying Canada' dairy policy is not the cause of financial losses for USA dairy farmers.

At issue are changes in Canadian policy that make it harder for USA dairy processors to sell ultra-filtered milk, used to make cheese, in Canada. The United States is Canada's largest trading partner.

Canada has used a supply management system to control dairy production since the early 1970s.

Trump called the situation "very, very unfair" and said "it's not going to be happening for long", but for those families searching for haulers, every day is hard.

"We're going to get together and we're going to call Canada", Trump said.

"There's always going to be irritants", he told Canada's Business News Network (BNN) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"To use a phrase that has recently come out of the U.S., Wisconsin farmers are using alternative facts", said Isabelle Bouchard, the director of communications and government relations at the industry group Dairy Farmers of Canada. You'll note that the US doles out tens of billions every year on farm subsidies, so its criticism of supply management reeks of hypocrisy, made doubly smelly coming from an economic nationalist like Trump.

Donald Trump fired a shot at Canada's dairy sector this week, in a speech to factory workers in Wisconsin.

Trump will be in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, visiting a manufacturing plant. To sell milk, a farmer needs to buy quota, worth tens of thousands of dollars for each cow.

President Trump said the issue may be related to NAFTA. You know, we were shipping milk up to Canada and they've got their producers up there too.

In response to this push, Canadian farm groups, such as Dairy Farmers of Canada, have argued that programs like Class 6 are domestic policies that help the Canadian market adapt to changes within its borders and are not meant to restrict American exports.