Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Bill Mullins speaks out on helping dairy farmers

Bill Mullins speaks out on helping dairy farmers

Trade groups for USA dairy farmers have complained that a policy rolled out in Canada recently violates the trade agreement by creating incentives for Canadian processors to use local supplies.

Trump was 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.

OTTAWA-U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed on Canada from the Oval Office Thursday, suggesting the country was "taking advantage" of U.S. workers and demanding trade renegotiations begin "very quickly". It had been duty free but Canada changed course after milk producers there complained.

Dozens of dairy producers in Wisconsin and NY have been affected by the policy and have been up in arms for months, accusing Canada of flouting global trade rules and preventing American farmers from fairly competing. Trump promised to work with Wisconsin's congressional delegation to get a solution after the governors of Wisconsin and NY urged him to take action.

"Dairy trade between Canada and the U.S.is important and the sectoral trade balance massively favours the USA, at around 5 to 1", he wrote in a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker this week. "We're going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all".

Freeland said that Canada buys more from the US than any other country, including the European Union, Mexico, China and Japan and that nine million jobs in the USA depend on trade and investment with Canada.

"Together with other dairy exporting countries, including the USA, we have questioned these policies at WTO Committee on Agriculture meetings in Geneva as recently as last month", McClay said.

"It's another typical one-sided deal against the United States and it's not going to be happening for long", Trump said.

The Trump administration has yet to give Congress a required 90-day notification that it plans to open negotiations on NAFTA with Canada and Mexico.

The Roskopfs and other Wisconsin dairy farmers have requested that another processor take their milk temporarily, until a political solution is reached.

A letter from MacNaughton rebutting American criticism of Canada's trade practices in the dairy industry was released Tuesday.

The U.S. -Canadian dispute has spread to Minnesota, where officials say 19 dairy farms are affected, according to The Associated Press. The only change has been Canada's deliberate pricing policy decision - starting past year in Ontario and spreading more recently to other provinces - to create a national ingredients strategy to undercut competition from the United States. In the USA there's no limit to how much milk is produced.

However, last spring Canadian milk producers came to a new agreement to price milk proteins, used for the same things as diafiltered milk, at a lower price.

Trump's comments were a stunning departure from remarks he made when he met with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February.

Sources told SN that the dispute is not likely to have a significant impact on the supply or availability of dairy products in the U.S. However, there could be other pricing and availability ramifications if the U.S. takes retaliatory action against products imported to the U.S. from Canada.

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