Food and Farm-Milk Dispute story

Dairy farmers worry about trade to Mexico

Trump Responds to Canadian Milk Issue During Wisconsin TripWisconsin Ag Connection - 04/19/2017After hearing from angry dairy farm families and Wisconsin politicians for almost two weeks, President Donald Trump has made his first public comments about Canada's recent decision to stop taking ultra-filtered milk from the United States.

"The facts do not bear this out".

Parksville dairy farmer says Canadian industry is very healthy while President Donald Trump says regulations north of the border are unfair to American producers.

He wrote that "Canada's dairy industry is less protectionist than that of the US, which has employed technical barriers to keep Canadian dairy out of the USA market", and noted that US exports of milk protein substances significantly increased from 33 million US dollars in 2011 to98 million USA dollars a year ago. And again, I want to also just mention, included in there is lumber - timber - and energy.

Trump levelled the threat during an event at a Wisconsin factory where he unveiled his "Buy American-Hire American" executive order.

Representatives for Canada's trade and agriculture ministers could not be immediately reached.

The program, which works similarly to the Class 6 pricing program set forth by Ontario, restricts the importation of ultra-filtered milk - a protein-rich ingredient used in yogurt and cheese production.

In Canada, through supply management, quotas for milk are set for producers and demand is met with little surplus.

The governor recently joined Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in writing a letter to President Donald J. Trump asking him to take action against Canada for its dairy pricing program, which limits the amount of dairy products exported across the northern border.

Dozens of dairy producers in Wisconsin and NY have been affected by the policy and have been up in arms for months, accusing Canada of flouting global trade rules and preventing American farmers from fairly competing.

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David Weins, who heads the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, says the Canadian industry can't be held responsible for issues that are American in origin.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada, which has previously denounced the complaints as "falsehoods and half-truths", said Tuesday it was confident the federal government would continue to defend the dairy industry.

"We can't produce milk against the U.S. Treasury", he said. "As made clear in the report, Canada is not a contributor to the overproduction problem".

Certainly not. Where dairy trade is concerned, tensions between Canada and the US have been increasing for months now.

The ambassador also noted that the current dairy trade balance favours the United States five to one - a point he underscored again during a news conference on Wednesday.

"When we got the news from Mullins, it was a little bit bittersweet", Portage dairy farmer Beth Heinze said.

Damsteegt said he feels "terrible" for the Wisconsin dairy farmers who approached Trump with concerns about their lack of market opportunities. "And we're going to start working on that".

Trump says he'll have more to say about upcoming NAFTA negotiations within a couple of weeks. "And it's not gong to be happening for long". Trump has said NAFTA puts USA workers at a disadvantage.

"The whole thing is ridiculous". So we're going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly.

Canada has marketing boards that decide how much milk, poultry and eggs will be sold each year in Canada, then sets a minimum price while keeping foreign dairy products out because that would "screw this whole system up", the Toronto-based National Post newspaper reported in an story on price fixing last fall.

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