Trump Warns Canada That He's Coming for Its 'Very Unfair' Milk Policy

The trade dispute affecting dairy farmers in states such as Wisconsin and NY provided a hook for Trump to announce that the White House plans to propose changes to NAFTA soon.

Trudeau said his government has told the new US administration that Canada does not view the negotiations as a "zero-sum game" but that there are ways to improve NAFTA, which also includes Mexico, for everyone.

"For them to say it's unfair trade practices, I'd suggest they already have a half-billion surplus in the dairy sector", said Henderson, a former local Dairy Farmers of Ontario representative.

"So, we're going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly". He called them a "disgrace" to US farm workers.

Trump's comments regarding Canada came shortly after he launched an investigation on whether foreign steel arriving in the USA threatens national security.

Smith said one of the reasons American farmers are taking issue with Canadian milk right now is because it's more competitive. Trudeau said "it's not Canada that's the challenge here".

"Simply put, the US, and for that matter, for the last of years, right around the world, there has been too much milk produced", he said."This oversupply in the U.S.is especially a challenge where there is a lack of processing capacity". In September, dairy groups from the U.S., Australia, Europe, New Zealand and Mexico sent letters to their leaders asking to initiate a dispute at the World Trade Organization.

In 2016, Canada imported C$557 million ($413 million) in dairy products from the U.S, while C$113 crossed the border in the opposite direction, creating a deficit of about C$445 million, Canadian government data show.

But Trump has repeatedly pledged to take a tough approach in order to strike better trade deals for American exporters. Senator Chuck Schumer said today that he agrees with his sworn enemy for once, noting it's time for Congress to make Canada "rescind their unfair policy and again play by the rules".

"Dairy trade between Canada and the USA massively favours the US, by a ratio of five to one". Trudeau told Bloomberg that the US enjoys a trade surplus on dairy with Canada, and that the country "wasn't the challenge" for USA dairy farmers.

The U.S.is debating the idea of a border tax that could hurt certain imported products - including Canadian oil, which is a leading source of America's energy supply. Canada's policy change has led to lower prices for Canadian products including ultra-filtered milk that compete with the US product.

Freeland, who was Canada's trade minister before being named foreign minister in January, said she understands the US political position.

Relations with the U.S. are crucial for Canada, since more than 75 percent of its exports go to the U.S. Eighteen percent of U.S. exports go to Canada.

  • Zachary Reyes