Trump targets Canadian trade again, focused on energy, lumber, dairy

The rhetoric Donald Trump directed at Canada's dairy industry this week has its roots in a new Canadian agriculture policy that predates his time in office, one that was the subject of a pointed letter from the US dairy lobby. The tech industry has argued that the H-1B program is needed because it encourages students to stay in the US after getting degrees in high-tech specialties — and because companies can't always find enough American workers with the skills they need.

President Donald Trump called Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Thursday to discuss how to address Canada's "unfair" dairy pricing programs, Schumer, D-N.Y., confirmed in a statement released Friday.

Trump took issue in particular with Canadian measures that he said put farmers out of business in Wisconsin and NY.

Canada has adopted dairy pricing rules that favor domestic production of ultra-filtered milk, which is used to make cheese.

Canadians will soon learn whether it's just pre-negotiation bluster or a harbinger of hardball: Trump promised more details within a couple of weeks about his government's plans for the North American Free Trade Agreement, with discussions likely to start later this year. They certainly paint the picture that the big, bad United States is coming after poor Canadian dairy farmers.

Trump made it obvious his complaints from earlier this week in Wisconsin were specifically about recent rule changes on milk classification, not on the longer-term issue of Canada's supply-management system.

About 70 dairy producers in both Wisconsin and NY are affected by the decision.

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Trump's comments regarding Canada came shortly after he launched an investigation on whether foreign steel arriving in the US threatens national security.

"We going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada, very, very quickly", the President said in the Oval Office. -Canada dispute over milk, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Canada had begun imposing import taxes on USA ultra-filtered milk.

Both Trudeau and Gentiloni, who was in Washington himself on Thursday, were keen to display their support for free trade and open borders - including the Canada-EU free trade pact - in the face of growing populist opposition. It said the USA has "raised serious concerns with Class 7".

As he offered congratulations on Canada's 150th birthday, Gentiloni said the two countries share "the same line" on many issues.

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

Trudeau also lauded the "tremendously strong" trade ties between the two countries. "We will judge American policy when American policy is announced".

Relations with the USA are crucial as more than 75 percent of Canada's exports go to the US, while 18 percent of USA exports go to Canada.

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