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Dairy Experts: Trump's Promised Trade Changes May Not Come Soon Enough

21 April 2017

Dairy farmers have already been crippled by years of stagnating milk prices, and one Central New York milk producer - Cayuga Milk Ingredients - has said it could lose 25 percent of its sales after investing more than $100 million in an ultra-filtered milk processing plant. "Canada is the second-largest export market for USA dairy products, surpassed only by Mexico".

But he said changing trade agreements takes years - time Wisconsin dairy producers don't have as they scramble to find new buyers for excess milk.

"I wasn't going to do this", he said, but referring to his trip to Wisconsin this week, Mr. Trump said that what Canada had done to US dairy farm workers was a "disgrace".

U.S. President Donald Trump promised on Tuesday to defend American dairy farmers who have been hurt by Canada's protectionist trade practices, during a visit to the cheese-making state of Wisconsin. "He went to Wisconsin, where it was in the news last week that one processor in Wisconsin lost a contract with a Canadian processor to produce diafiltered milk, which is a product that is specifically created to be exported to Canada", he says.

The trip brought Trump to the congressional district of House Speaker Paul Ryan, but Ryan was out of the country on a congressional trip.

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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. "We're going to get together and we're going to call Canada and we're going to say what happened, and they might give us an answer - but we're going to get a solution, not just the answer".

"President Trump and I spoke yesterday about reversing Canada's new and unfair dairy-pricing policy", Schumer said in a statement. "And we're going to start working on that". So we're going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly. "When we renegotiate NAFTA, an agreement I opposed, we should make topic #1 enforcing existing trade commitments‎ to reverse these restrictive dairy pricing policies".

"It's a trading disaster", Trump said.

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.

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent Trump the letter on Tuesday.

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"The fact is NAFTA - whether it's Mexico or Canada - is a disaster", Mr. Trump said. Their processor, Grassland Dairy, says Canada will no longer buy its products and, in turn, they will stop purchasing milk from dozens of Wisconsin farmers on May 1st.

"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".

U.S. President Donald Trump seems bound and determined to wipe the grin off the face of the Laughing Cow. "It's a new USA administration with some openly protectionist views".

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will tell this week's meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington that Trump's executive order runs contrary to Canada's trading interests.

Relations with the US are crucial as more than 75 percent of Canada's exports go to the USA, while 18 percent of US exports go to Canada.

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