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.
OTTAWA-U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed on Canada from the Oval Office Thursday, suggesting the country was "taking advantage" of U.S. workers and demanding trade renegotiations begin "very quickly".
"They (governors) want to be seen to be standing up for their dairy farmers and I think the Government of Canada wants to be seen to be standing up for its dairy farmers", he said. "Canada is the second-largest export market for US dairy products, surpassed only by Mexico".
Trump, while in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday spoke out against the "very, very unfair policy" that is blocking USA exports of ultra-filtered milk, which is used to make cheese.
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New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay told Reuters in an email that his government was "currently assessing the WTO-consistency" of Canada's dairy industry policy, and had raised concern with the Canadian government. "Let's not pretend we're in a global free market when it comes to agriculture". "Every country protects, for good reason, its agricultural industries".
He says the USA now enjoys a $400-million dairy surplus with Canada.
Trump was amplifying the complaints of Wisconsin and NY governors, who say Canada's decision to create a new lower-priced, classification of milk product has frozen US producers out of the Canadian market.
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"The fact of the matter is, is that we're already accepting way more dairy products into Canada than Canada is exporting into the states".
The United States' own dairy outlook report "clearly indicates the poor results in the US sector are due USA and global overproduction".
Earlier this week, in Kenosha, Mr. Trump had promised to stand up for dairy farmers, though he didn't explain the issue, which, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is likely a change in Canadian dairy pricing policies that undercut about 75 Wisconsin dairy farmers earlier this month.
"The U.S. has a $400 million dairy surplus with Canada so it's not Canada that's the challenge here", he said in an interview with Bloomberg. And last week, another letter urging Trump's assistance from the National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
At about the same time that the President was taking aim at Canada today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Bloomberg in an interview that the side with a surplus in dairy trade is the USA, not Canada.
Dairy farms throughout NY state rely heavily on exporting this product, and they are faced with millions of dollars in losses each year.
Trump said he wouldn't allow the situation to continue and brought up a separate conflict with Canada over timber.
He said both he and Ottawa would continue to speak out for Canadian interests when necessary, and expects USA politicians to do the same.