nsucurrent.com May 23, 2018

Canadian PM responds to Trump's criticism of dairy industry

24 April 2017, 05:17 | Dan Bryan

"We can't let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers", Trump said in the Oval Office.

But in the end, the easy pickings will be the dairy and poultry business, which could signal the end of supply management here in Canada, opening up competition for poultry, eggs and dairy; a benefit to all consumers. "Included in there is lumber, timber and energy".

The dairy industry was reeling this week after accusations by U.S. President Donald Trump that the marketing system here is unfair to American producers. "It is critical to level the playing field for our hard-working dairy farmers and make sure our Canadian neighbors rescind their unfair policy and again play by the rules". "We're going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly". Trump said it has put farmers in Wisconsin and NY state out of business. Schumer's spokesman said Trump made the call. Now, state officials are looking to Washington for help. But local farmers and economists say America has only itself to blame and are wondering if the President has even looked at the numbers.

Trump also took the opportunity to slam NAFTA, the free trade deal linking the US, Mexico and Canada, calling it a "disaster for our country".

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland noted in a statement in response to Trump that any increase of trade barriers between the two countries would significantly affect jobs in the US and Canada.

Canadians apparently won't have to wait long to find out exactly how Trump plans to change the two nation's trading relationship, as the U.S. President pledged to make negotiations a priority. Carr will be in NY next week.

Relations with the U.S. are crucial for Canada, since more than 75 percent of its exports go to the U.S. Eighteen percent of U.S. exports go to Canada.

"Our marketing system works in our country and it's not for other countries to determine what the best fit is for Canadians", said chair Tom Kootstra, who owns and operates Stradow Farms near Ponoka, Alberta. The file has always been a contentious one, with Canada largely fending off NAFTA challenges launched by the United States alleging Parliament Hill's policies essentially act as a subsidy for domestic producers.

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