Canada said Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump's charge that it is milking American dairy farmers through unfair trade practices is not based in fact.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Dairy farms in Wisconsin and other states could be forced out of business as early as May because of a trade dispute that's halted the export of their milk to Canada.
Canada, one of the U.S.'s top trading partners, has imposed an import tax on ultra-filtered milk, a product used in the cheese-making process.
Saying it's important to correct factual errors, Ambassador David MacNaughton said in a letter to the governors of Wisconsin and NY the facts don't support the contention that Canada's dairy policies are the cause of financial losses for dairy farmers in the United States.
-Canada trade relations. Trump, who was elected with the help of strong rural support, has pledged to renegotiate Nafta to help USA industry.
New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay told Reuters in an email his government was assessing the "WTO-consistency" of Canada's dairy industry policy, and had raised concern with the Canadian government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau countered Thursday, contending all countries guard their agricultural industries for "good reasons".
"It is an unwise policy that violates our agreements and hurts our farmers, and we agreed to work together to immediately address the issue", Schumer said of his conversation with Trump.
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"Dairy is a very small part of the total trade with Canada, there's an bad lot more that happens even within agriculture than just dairy", said Mark Stephenson, director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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Despite Trump's promises to find a "solution" to the dispute, Stephenson said dairy farmers aren't holding their breath.
But Trump has repeatedly pledged to take a tough approach in order to strike better trade deals for American exporters.
Softwood lumber is a long-standing irritant between Canada and the U.S. The two sides are working on a new agreement to replace the nine-year truce that expired in 2015. The tax affects about 70 dairy producers in NY and Wisconsin.
"Canada doesn't accept the contention that Canada's dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States", wrote ambassador David MacNaughton. It's unclear how his negotiators will work to broker an agreement that will be palatable to both Canada and the USA, or if the issue may be pushed to the wayside because of its complexity. "We have a supply management system that works very well here in Canada".
Weins's support was echoed by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, which said Tuesday it believed the federal government would continue to "defend" the dairy industry.