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

Trudeau defends supply management, wants 'fact' based trade talk with US

Canada is not the problem for US dairy producers and will stick with its system of protectionist dairy quotas, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.

"Every country protects for good reason its agricultural industries".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media during a visit to the Manhattan borough of NY, U.S., April 6, 2017. Trump said in the Oval Office that the U.S.

"Canada, what they've done to our dairy farm workers, is a disgrace". Trump suggested Thursday he would have more details to share within a couple of weeks about his government's plans for the North American Free Trade Agreement. "And our farmers in Wisconsin and New York State are being put out of business".

Trudeau's comments come two days after Trump promised US dairy farmers he would intervene to restore exports of American milk to Canada.

Trudeau was speaking in Toronto on Thursday and made his first response to comments from President Trump in which he said he'd push Canada to change its dairy system as part of the NAFTA negotiations.

"We're not going to overreact", Trudeau said.

Canada's ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, fired back at Trump's criticism on Tuesday by writing to the governors of those two states telling them that the plight of their farmers was not Canada's fault.

Despite the tough talk from Trump, Trudeau said he saw an opportunity to engage with the U.S. President.

"Any conversation around that starts with recognizing the facts".

Trudeau said he was not going to "over react" and that he planned to move the trade conversation forward "in a way that both protects our consumers and our agricultural producers".

Trudeau said one of the challenges in crafting policies to rein in soaring house prices is a "dearth of data", as was the case in Vancouver a year ago.

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