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Trump attacks Canada's dairy trade as 'unfair' to U.S.

21 April 2017

Steel is expected to play a key role in any joint infrastructure projects between Canada and the USA, something Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to co-operate on during their White House meeting in February.

At issue is a recently-adopted Canadian policy that makes it more hard for American dairy farms to sell ultra-filtered milk across the border - a rule Canadian leaders say protects its own producers, but which the National Milk Producers Federation estimates could cost NY and Wisconsin farmers more than $150 million each year.

The president took issue with changes on milk classification that he says have put farmers in Wisconsin and NY state out of business. He says they are going to have to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement quickly.

Trudeau said he wants to have a fact-based conversation with the Americans, noting the US - like other countries - subsidizes its dairy and agriculture industries to the tune of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.

Richard and Paul Johnson
Richard and Paul Johnson County Road 6 in La Crescent

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent Trump a letter on Tuesday urging him to take action. The White House says the program undercuts American workers by bringing in large numbers of cheaper foreign workers, which drives down USA wages.

"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". That's almost double the value exported to Canada, the country's second biggest export market, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

"We can't let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers", Trump said in the Oval Office. "We will judge American policy when American policy is announced".

The work would start immediately, Trump said.

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"When it comes to wasteful destructive job killing regulations, we are going to use a tool you know very well - it's called the sledgehammer", he said.

NY exported more to Canada in 2016 than any country in the world. "It's another typical one-sided deal against the United States and it's not going to be happening for long", he said.

MacNaughton backed the organization's position that Canada has done nothing to block US imports, and that the predicament is the result of an "over-saturated" market that has led to lower prices.

Senior finance officials who briefed reporters on the meetings suggest the order would run counter to protections Canada has secured through NAFTA.

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Trump promises to work with Wisconsin's congressional delegation, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, to get a solution.

"So the Americans are not suffering from the current terms of NAFTA and existing trade agreements".

"The fact is that's always one of the easy, quick things people jump to", Trudeau said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Toronto, when asked about the prospect of privatizing the nation's airports.

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Trump attacks Canada's dairy trade as 'unfair' to U.S.