Canadian ambassador: President Trump is "wrong" about dairy policies

Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier has welcomed U.S. Donald Trump's swipe at the Canadian dairy industry, saying that it's not just American farmers who are losing out.

Quebec farmers say they're not anxious about recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump attacking the way Canada manages the production of dairy products.

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.

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

How much leverage does Canada have in renegotiating a trade deal with the U.S.? A big part of their problem, says von Massow, was that Canada was being flooded with duty-free American ultra-filtered milk because it was invented after the North American Free Trade Agreement, and therefore wasn't subject to duties. But it's far from the first time Canadian milk has drawn American ire.

During a visit to Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, Trump said he would seek to resolve the matter.

Trump singled out Canada's dairy supply management system as putting American farmers at a competitive disadvantage.

"Time and again, Canada has demonstrated its disregard of its dairy commitments to the United States - hampering America's exports to Canada - while pursuing ways to use its government-controlled system to unfairly dump greater Canadian exports in global markets." .

"In fact, the Canadian dairy industry is less protectionist than the American dairy industry", he argues in his letter.

But late Tuesday night, Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton said, "Canada does not accept the contention that Canada's dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States". "It's going to take awhile", Dave Roskopf said.

Canada's supply management system works well, Dumontier says, keeping prices and supply stable without the need for subsidies.

The ambassador also noted that the current dairy trade balance favours the U.S. five to one - a point he underscored again during a news conference on Wednesday.

After Tuesday's remarks by the USA president, Bernier wrote Trump an open letter saying he "stole one of my best lines" about the unfairness of Canada's system, which Bernier characterized as a "cartel" and a "production racket".

"In Canada, supply management is literally about matching supply with demand, and for us that avoids over production and it reduces the impact of the devastating market fluctuations that we do see right around the world, including in the U.S." said Weins.

Dykstra said the USA has increased its dairy exports to Canada by 17 per cent over the last few years.

"For being the Dairy State, that's not going to look good if we're dumping milk down the drain, or out in the fields", he said, "instead of producing it for cheese and milk". And that means it will likely be on the table of any future NAFTA renegotiation.

There are 218 dairy farms in Nova Scotia, and Damsteegt believes the Canadian system provides a high quality product for consumers.

"Americans are starting to realize more and more that Canada is pretty important to jobs in the USA", he said. He thinks the system will eventually have to be dismantled with compensation worked out for Canadian farmers.

A little baloney - the statement is mostly accurate but more information is required.

  • Zachary Reyes