Economy

Minnesota dairy farms affected by US-Canada trade dispute

Minnesota dairy farms affected by US-Canada trade dispute

When Trudeau visited the White House in February Trump praised the "outstanding" trade relationship between the United States and Canada, saying he would only be "tweaking" it going forward.

U.S President Donald Trump's speech railing against NAFTA on Tuesday specifically targeted Canada's dairy production system.

The President echoed that sentiment Thursday: "We can't let Canada or anyone else take advantage of our workers or our farmers". The remarks came as Trump was signing an unrelated executive order on steel imports in the Oval Office.

In a story April 18 about a U.S.

Trump then revisited his past, repeated criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it "a disaster for our country".

Trudeau signalled that he is optimistic he can persuade Trump, saying the USA president is "unlike many politicians" and avoids the instinct to "stick with" a particular position. Critics, like Conservative Party leadership candidate Maxime Bernier, who has called it a cartel, say the system has artificially increased the price of dairy, chicken and eggs.

The Roskopfs, who plan to dump their milk if there's no resolution, say it's not that easy.

In their April 13 letter, the four USA dairy organizations urged Trump to call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to halt the Class 7 program, saying it was "specifically created to stop an important US dairy export to Canada".

"I wasn't going to do this, but I was in Wisconsin the other day... And that includes Canada", Trump told the crowd. Many of those farms may now be forced out of business. "Farmers in Wisconsin and NY state are being put out of business".

"Canada, what they've done to our dairy farm workers, it's a disgrace", Trump said. "It's a disgrace", he said. "You can not penetrate the American market and have a fair price for producers". Now, I understand how certain governors are speaking to certain constituencies on that. "It's politics", Trudeau said. "It works really well, it provides a stable supply of milk, it supplies us with a stable income". "The Americans and other countries choose to subsidize to the tune of hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, their agricultural industries including their dairy".

"(Trump is) a little bit unlike many politicians", the prime minister said, acknowledging the magnitude of his understatement amid laughter from the crowd.

"We are steadfastly committed to free trade and its benefits for the middle class".

"As far as we're concerned, we still have the right to produce milk in Canada for processors in Canada and to have a competitive price", Dumontier says.

The latest report by the United States Trade Representative on the trade barriers faced by the USA singled out the Class 7 changes as a potential problem.


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