News Worms
News Worms

Canadian dairy farmers being 'very unfair' to US counterparts, Trump rails

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pinchuk.

Trump said during a speech Tuesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that Canada has been "very unfair" to dairy farmers and "we're going to start working on that".

About 15 percent of dairy production in the United States is exported with one-third valued at $1.2 billion going to Mexico in the form of milk powder, cheese and whey protein, according to the National Milk Producers Federation, which says trade with Mexico is its top priority. It had been duty-free but Canada changed course after milk producers there complained.

Canada's new milk pricing has led processors like Grassland Dairy Products, cancel contracts with dairies in Wisconsin.

Some hope that President Donald Trump will renegotiate NAFTA, a promise he ran on during the 2016 campaign.

Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Tammy Baldwin, (D-Wis.) sent a letter to the administration saying the trade barriers are hurting American dairy farmers and processors.

Trump also criticized the US trading regime, which calls for a waiting period, and consultations that can stretch to three months or beyond. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has blamed the Senate for delaying the confirmation of Trump's US trade representative.

Agencies are also being asked to suggest changes so that H-1B visas are granted to the "most-skilled or highest-paid applicants".

But while the president is accusing Canada's dairy industry of being unfair to its US counterpart, some in the Canadian industry say it's nothing more than words. The Ottawa-based Dairy Farmers of Canada, which represents 12,000 farms, is confident the Canadian government will "defend and protect" its dairy industry and the economy, a spokeswoman said by phone.

"We know that dairy producers in the U.S are going through tough times; however, incorrectly laying the blame on an unrelated Canadian domestic policy will not improve their situation".

"So the Americans are not suffering from the current terms of NAFTA and existing trade agreements".


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