Trump enters US-Canada milk fight with threat to end NAFTA


Cuomo and Walker have called on the Trump administration to drag Canada before the WTO for violating trade rules. "It's a bad thing that happened to the farmers of Wisconsin", he added. Dairy farmers in the USA complain it's a new tariff that closes the Canadian market to them. They also asked Trump to direct USA agencies to "examine a full range of tools that could be used immediately to impress upon Canada in a concrete way the importance of dependable, two-way trade".

On Wednesday, MacNaughton downplayed talk of growing trade irritants with the US and said he still expects there will be "constructive discussions" between the two countries because so many jobs on both sides of the border depend on trade.

He also threatened to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement if no action is taken to correct the problem.

In the letter, released by Ottawa, ambassador David MacNaughton said Canada's dairy industry was less protectionist than its US counterpart.

"America's dairy farmers will continue to work with the Trump Administration, speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional leaders, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as well as elected officials across the country to resolve this issue as soon as possible", Mulhern added.

During a visit to Wisconsin Tuesday, Mr. Trump said that he will demand an explanation from the Canadian government for having the pricing programs.

Farms.com has reached out to dairy producers and organizations in Canada and the United States for more input on President Trump's comments.

Canada's dairy supply management system is a "one-sided deal against the United States", which has resulted in "some very unfair things" against "our dairy farmers", said Trump.

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Trump made similar remarks in Wisconsin on Tuesday, calling the dairy trade relationship between the United States and Canada "very, very unfair".

"There's a huge imbalance of milk causing a surplus", he said.

About 70 dairy producers in both Wisconsin and NY are affected by the new rules, and have lobbied the USA government for action on the file. "We urge USDA to assist us in our efforts to help our producers by exercising its authority to purchase cheese and butter in storage and distribute it through USDA's nutritional aid programs, including food banks and our national school programs".

The Roskopfs and other Wisconsin dairy farmers have requested that another processor take their milk temporarily, until a political solution is reached.

"Processors still have the choice to purchase wherever, but buy Canadian milk because we have a more competitive price", she said.

Canada did decide to impose import taxes on ultra-filtered milk, which is used to make cheese.

"We protect a part of our market with tariffs, that's true; they protect it with subsidies", he says. He thinks the system will eventually have to be dismantled with compensation worked out for Canadian farmers.