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NewsAlert: Strident Trump targets Canadian trade on energy, lumber, dairy

25 April 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will stick with its system of protectionist dairy quotas, even as President Donald Trump doubled down on a vow to help American farmers.

Trudeau told Bloomberg Television that the United States in fact ran a dairy surplus with Canada.

Reading from handwritten notes during an Oval Office signing for an unrelated memorandum, Trump called Canada's actions a "disgrace" and said the Canadian measures have hurt dairy farmers in Wisconsin and NY. On lumber, cheaper Canadian wood has reduced the cost of US homes but also caused recurring legal spats with the USA industry that alleges product-dumping.

USA dairy farmers contend that the new Canadian policy, first rolled out at the provincial level past year but soon set to go national, drops the price of that Canadian product to the point where US producers can no longer make money selling it north of the border.

The National Milk Producers Federation said losses for the dairy industries in Wisconsin and NY alone could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Trump said in Wisconsin Tuesday that he'll work on a solution.

The U.S. dairy industry views that Canadian milk pricing scheme to be an unfair trade practice - one that this week caught Trump's attention.

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"President Trump and I spoke yesterday about reversing Canada's new and unfair dairy-pricing policy", Schumer said. Almost 70 dairy producers were affected after imposing of this taxes in both the United States and Canada.

U.S. President Donald Trump is complaining about trade with Canada in three areas: lumber, energy, and dairy - and says the U.S. can't let Canada or anyone else take advantage of America. It had been duty free. "And I think trade lawyers agree". "So they're displacing the US product that's coming into Canada", said von Massow. Carr will be in NY next week. The president's comments have led many observers to speculate that dairy - and Canada's system of supply management - could be a target as the USA considers a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Under the decades-old system, the Canadian dairy sector negotiates the price of milk and tweaks production to meet demand. During the election, Trump repeatedly attacked NAFTA, but always did so in reference to the US relationship with Mexico. Some critics argue that unfriendly trade policies are causing American farms to close and putting people out of work.

Luis Ribera, an agriculture economics expert at Texas A&M University, said that while the ultra-filtered milk issue may technically fall outside the scope of NAFTA, it is a sign of US anger towards Canada's supply management system.

But Easter noted that the USA has a lot invested in trade with Canada.

"We're not going to overreact", Trudeau said.