NewsAlert: Strident Trump targets Canadian trade on energy, lumber, dairy

"There are irritants. There are always going to be irritants".

"We'd have some considerable challenges; we'd likely be out of business", said Ventnor-area dairy farmer Paul Henderson. "It's just the regular rhetoric that we hear, and we are getting used to it". "So rather then say to everybody, you need to cut back your production a little bit, they selected 70 or however many farmers it is and said to them, we don't want your milk anymore".

Trump repeated his desire to alter rules that govern the more than $1 billion in cross-border trade that passes between the US and Canada every day.

Ambassador David MacNaughton said in a letter Tuesday night to the governors of Wisconsin and NY that Canada is aware of their letter to Trump asking him to address Canada's dairy practices.

Lawmakers from dairy producing states like Wisconsin and NY, as well as American dairy organisations, have been lobbying the president for months to take on the Canadian dairy industry for practices they say are in violation of trade commitments.

"The facts do not bear this out".

"In Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others, and we're going to strategy working on that", Mr Trump said in prepared remarks.

U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist speech in Wisconsin included a harsh and direct attack on trade with Canada.

There to sign his "Buy American, Hire American" executive order, Trump also took the opportunity to talk about renegotiating NAFTA and protecting American farmers.

He also wrote that "technical barriers" make the USA more protectionist than Canada, and his nation isn't a cause of the global oversupply that has hurt American farmers.

Schumer said any renegotiation of NAFTA should set as its top priority the reversal of Canadian dairy pricing policies.

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In a story April 18 about a trade dispute between the USA and Canada over milk, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Canada had made a decision to impose import taxes on ultra-filtered milk.

Industry groups in New Zealand, Australia, the European Union, Mexico and the United States complained the new prices for Canadian milk ingredients under-cut exports to Canada.

That prompted Canadian farmers from a variety of provinces to lobby for the creation of a new classification of milk product that could be priced competitively with American imports.

"They already export far more dairy ingredients into Canada than we export into the USA. and that's ongoing, despite what he's saying now" said Gourlay about Trump's comments.

The governors of Wisconsin and NY sent Trump a letter Tuesday urging him to take action.

"Certainly we're pleased that the ambassador to the United States came out supportive of our system last night and we see that our government is supporting us very well on this", said Murray Sherk, an Ontario dairy farmer in Kitchener-Waterloo.

"What the Americans have been railing against for years is the entire supply management system, and what they're saying to Trump (is) it's because of this distorted, manipulative, regressive Soviet-style system that Canada can manipulate the market and create these new classes to allow Canadian producers to compete".

However, Francois Dumontier, a spokesman for Les Producteurs de lait du Quebec, said imports of US milk products have increased since 1993, and now account for three-quarters of milk products in Canada.

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. He is defending his domestic dairy industry", said Jacques Lefebvre, CEO of Dairy Processors Association of Canada.

Ultimately are Canadian dairy farmers afraid of what Donald Trump is saying?

"Americans are starting to realize more and more that Canada is pretty important to jobs in the US", he said. "What's happened to you is very, very unfair".

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