Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Canada's ambassador: Trump is wrong when he says dairy practices unfair

Bill Morneau Bill Morneau is seen during a tour of the Vector Institute at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto in
Erik Tate | 19 April, 2017, 11:01

The senators' letter conveys that Canada has pursued ways to impede USA dairy exports through various policy and regulatory tools.

"The facts do not bear this out".

President Donald Trump revived his tough talk on the North American Free Trade Agreement Tuesday, warning Canada it must stop protecting its dairy farmers from US competition.

As a result, dairy processors in the USA were abruptly informed by their Canadian customers that Canadian companies are drastically reducing their purchases of American milk - and in some cases no longer buying it.

Mr. Trump is also looking for a broader negotiation of the North American free-trade agreement, he said Tuesday.

LISTEN: Could an end to supply management be good for Canada?

Trump's remarks were made over a growing trade dispute between Canada and the US over the dairy products: specifically ultra-filtered milk, a product which allows for greater efficiency in cheese-making. It had been duty-free but Canada changed course after milk producers there complained.

Ambassador David MacNaughton says that problems with the US dairy industry are due to USA and global overproduction. "He says DATCP will sponsor a 'Wisconsin Pavilion" at Expo Leche, which is Mexico's largest annual dairy industry conference. Meanwhile, Brancel also announced last week that he will lead a delegation of Wisconsin dairy and agricultural companies on a trade mission to Mexico next month in hopes of finding new markets for the state's surplus milk.

The letter follows on other Cuomo administration efforts urging the Canadians to rethink their dairy trade policies, including a letter sent by the governor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last fall that apparently fell on deaf ears. He issued a letter to to the USA governors countering their concerns by saying that dairy trade between the two countries favours the U.S.by a factor of 5 to 1. Dismantling it would mean lower prices at the supermarket, and a more internationally competitive industry, says the paper.

Hillary Clinton responds to Syria strike
Hillary Clinton has called for an independent investigation into the involvement of Russian Federation into the 2016 U.S. She said she spent a lot of time wrestling with the fact that 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump.

MacNaughton attached a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that he said "indicates that poor results in the U.S. sector are due to U.S. and global overproduction".

The Senators have written to the Trump administration as well as to the Acting U.S. Trade Representative and Acting Ag Secretary about the milk pricing problem. "Those trade agreements traditionally have taken a lot of time and effort to get everybody on the same page and we know we've benefited tremendously on the NAFTA agreement that we have", Brown said.

U.S. President Donald Trump's complaints about dairy-industry trade practices in Canada and support for a Buy American program has rippled into the B.C. election.

"What's happened to you is very unfair", Trump said Tuesday.

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, speaking to CTV, said about the dispute that "any form of restriction (on) trade will hurt workers on both sides of the border".

"We're going to get together and we're going to call Canada, and we're going to say, 'What happened?' And they might give us an answer, but we're going to get the solution, not just the answer, OK?"

"New York's dairy farmers rely on the export of their products and we need to do what we can to ensure they continue to have a home for their milk", Ball said Tuesday.

Trump also criticized the USA trading regime, which calls for a waiting period, and consultations that can stretch to three months or beyond.

"Can we renegotiate and get a better NAFTA deal?"

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