Trump Vows to Back U.S. Dairy Farmers in Canada Trade Spat

21 Avril, 2017, 20:34 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • 11:15am

"It's a new US administration with some openly protectionist views".

He attached a February 2017 dairy outlook from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to his letter that he said indicates the "poor results" in the American dairy sector "are due to U.S. and global overproduction".

"Canada does not accept the contention that Canada's dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States", MacNaughton said.

Canada's dairy farmers agreed a year ago to sell milk ingredients used for cheese-making to Canadian processors, which include Saputo Inc and Parmalat Canada Inc at prices competitive with worldwide rates.

Foreign industry groups said the deal priced domestic milk ingredients used to make cheese and yogurt below cost and undercut their exports.

Critics contend that Canada's trade rules would severely limit imports of ultra-filtered milk.

Some New York producers are also affected.

In the meantime, MacNaughton said Canada needs to be prepared on every single issue when it comes to cross-border trade and shouldn't isolate any one sector.

While Canada is under fire from USA officials, MacNaughton noted that dairy trade between the two countries remains strong.

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A 1960s trade law gives the president authority to restrict imports if they are determined to be harmful to US security interests. That's up from $33 million in 2011, he said. Canada could also enforce the strategy nationally.

Canadian farmers' claim that they produce products that are far above USA standards will also be tested, and it could finally disrupt Canadian farm industries that are worth about $10-billion annually. "So it's not Canada that is the challenge here".

A spokeswoman for Canada's dairy industry said Tuesday night there has not been any new taxes on dairy imports.

But dairy industry leaders in Australia and New Zealand said on Wednesday they would support any move by the United States to draw the WTO into the trade dispute.

Trump was echoing and amplifying the complaints of Wisconsin and NY governors, who say Canada's decision to create a new lower-priced, classification of milk product has frozen USA producers out of the Canadian market. It was his first response to President Donald Trump's Wisconsin pledge to press Canada for changes to its dairy system as part of North American Free Trade Agreement talks.

MacNaughton called the partnership a "model to the world".

"Canada is not to blame for the global situation that both Canadian and American farmers face", he said.

Trump called out Canada by name Tuesday amid a brewing trade spat that has seen the USA dairy lobby accuse it of "systemic disregard" of its trade obligations.

"We understand that the USA wishes to do the same for its industry".

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