Domingo, 30 Abril, 2017

In his own words: Text of Trump's latest complaints about Canadian trade

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Malita Javier | 21 Abril, 2017, 01:46

Canada recently changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including ultra-filtered milk that compete with the USA product.

Trump denounced the North American Free Trade Agreement as a "disaster" and said he wants Canada to move on three particular industries - dairy farming, lumber and energy.

"Canada, what they've done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace, it's a disgrace".

Supply management does have critics within Canada who believe it's not only a problem in global trade negotiations but also results in higher costs for consumers and the food industry in general. Canada's policy change to manipulate internal prices to export more dairy ingredients globally is of great concern to other nations beyond just the United States. Canada created a new class of milk - Class 7 - to cover it. "Canada buys more from the US than any other country - including the EU, Mexico, China and Japan", wrote Alex Lawrence in an emailed statement.

This one earns a rating of "a lot of baloney". About 70 dairy producers of the ultra-filtered milk, which is used to make cheese, in both US states are affected.

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.

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He said the USA and its allies would deal with the situation "through peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary".

USA policy-makers have decisions to make that will affect the northern neighbour on multiple fronts including: NAFTA, softwood lumber, the possibility of a US import tax, and Buy American rules. Despite the strong words, MacNaughton is downplaying any talk of growing trade irritants with the United States. Between 1971 and 2012, the number of dairy farms in Canada declined by 91 per cent, according to a report written by former Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay for the University of Calgary's school of public policy. But that leaves farmers with excess protein, which is where ultra-filtered milk comes in.

Malcolm Bailey, chairman of the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, said his organization was working with his foreign ministry to gather information for a possible WTO complaint. Russian Federation is buying less milk from the Europe because of sanctions, and China is buying less milk, which affects everybody.

A growing trade war between the two countries has been brewing in recent months over one particular product -ultra filtered milk, which is used in the production of cheese.

It was unclear exactly what Trump was referring to with that comment - whether it was Canada's supply management system, its decision to impose import taxes on ultra-filtered milk, or something else entirely. Canadian processors and producers are adjusting the relative price of ingredients to maintain a domestic market for those ingredients.

Other processors have told the Roskopfs that they are at capacity and can not add farms, Monica Roskopf said. "Supply management allows that".

Canada's ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, said Wednesday that he expected "constructive discussions" around dairy and other issues if NAFTA is renegotiated.

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That prompted Canadian farmers from a variety of provinces to lobby for the creation of a new classification of milk product that could be priced competitively with American imports.

Trump says he'll have more to say about upcoming NAFTA negotiations within a couple of weeks. New Brunswick, Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario producers were all represented.

"In this particular case, it's not contrary to the trade agreements". "It works really well, it provides a stable supply of milk, it supplies us with a stable income".

"There are a lot of milk producers in the USA that are complaining about it".

"I don't think farmers have anything to worry about", he says.

He says the dairy industry in Canada is doing well.

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The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity. Trump wrote Sunday on Twitter that China was working with the United States on "the North Korea problem".

He finds it hard to believe drastic changes would come about, adding he's confident the federal government will continue to defend the interests of Canadian dairy farmers.

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