Canada responds to dairy trade criticism

U.S. dairy sector and state agriculture officials urged President Trump to take immediate action against Canada’s perceived disregard for its trade obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Most recently, Canada implemented a new national pricing policy that dairy groups contend blocks American dairy exports and will enable significant dumping of Canadian dairy products onto the world market. As a result, dozens of dairy farmers in the Midwest recently learned they must find new customers for their milk by May 1, which will cause considerable economic hardship and possibly force them to go out of business.

In a joint letter sent to President Trump, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) urged the administration to tell Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to halt the new pricing policy and restore imports of the blocked U.S. products, specifically ultra-filtered milk. They also asked President Trump to direct U.S. 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.”

“U.S. dairy exports support approximately 110,000 jobs across America, many of which are in farming and food manufacturing, as well as in supporting rural manufacturing and skilled farm service workers,” the organizations said in the letter. “However, for trade to yield its full potential and provide the maximum impact possible in supporting American jobs, our trading partners must hold up their end of the bargain as well.”

Canadian officials, however, do not accept the contention that Canada’s dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States.

“The facts do not bear this out,” said David MacNaughton, Canadian Ambassador. “The Canada-U.S. partnership is a model to the world. Let’s keep it that way by working together, as we have so often in our history, to make it even better.”

Here is more in a letter from the Canadian Embassy Ambassador David McNaughton:

 

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