Canadian policy 'very unfair' to American dairy? Not so fast, expert says

During his remarks, Trump weighed in on another economic issue, promising to find a solution to a trade dispute with Canada that has left dairy farmers in Wisconsin and NY without a market they had for a product called ultra-filtered milk, a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada, which has previously denounced the complaints as "falsehoods and half-truths", said Tuesday it was confident the federal government would continue to defend the dairy industry. "He's under the impression that every time he speaks, people are going to jump and that's not how it works".

Trump said during a speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday that Canada has been "very unfair" to dairy farmers and "we're going to start working on that". "I think they need to look within their own industry in terms of how they could better respond to the marketplace that they are in", said Weins.

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

Dairy farms throughout NY state rely heavily on exporting this product, and they are faced with millions of dollars in losses each year. Imports of those products, with some exceptions, are discouraged through a system of tariffs and import quotas.

At least one local dairy farmer on Wednesday suggested an end to supply-management would mean the end of his family farm. Critics, like Conservative Party leadership candidate Maxime Bernier, who has called it a cartel, say the system has artificially increased the price of dairy, chicken and eggs.

Proponents of the system say it keeps prices stable and protects small farmers from seasonal fluctuations.

But critics argue it hasn't worked.

Canada has also fiercely protected its dairy industry in recent trade deals, from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to Ceta, the Canada-European Union deal.

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Asked whether the executive memo targeting steel dumping would affect his relationship with China, given that it's the biggest offender, Mr. Trump replied, "This has nothing to do with China".

It was unclear exactly what Trump was referring to with that comment - whether it was Canada's supply management system, its decision to impose import taxes on ultra-filtered milk, or something else entirely.

Canada, meanwhile, said the problem is not being caused by Canada's dairy-pricing policies, but instead stems from a global glut of dairy products. Because it's considered a milk ingredient, it's not subject to the same tariffs as milk.

O'Toole says Bernier's policy demonstrates a lack of understand of agriculture and that the current system has nothing to do with any market specific issues in the United States. "It's specifically designed for our market". Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Auburn, New York, said it also lost all of its Canadian exports, a source of about 30% of overall sales.

Canada changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, and the change that took effect in February led to lower prices for Canadian products including ultra-filtered milk that compete with the USA product. "There has been no change in regulation".

"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.

"Class 7 is a domestic policy, the sole objective of which is to allow the Canadian dairy sector to be able to respond to a changing Canadian market environment", said Bouchard. "What has happened to you is very unfair". About 70 dairy producers of the ultra-filtered milk in both Wisconsin and NY are affected.

Michael and Debbie Mullin, who have been tending to their cows for over 30 years, say they're not anxious about the future of their industry despite Trump's remarks.

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