Trump threatens Canada over milk imports

Ellen Mills
April 30, 2017

Two Dodge County dairy farmers tell FOX6 News that Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to buy milk from numerous Wisconsin farms impacted by the ongoing dispute with Canada.

It's not getting much attention, but American dairy farmers are in trouble.

U.S. dairy trade groups-the National Milk Producers Federation, the International Dairy Foods Association and the U.S. Dairy Export Council-have long understood the importance of trade. But it's enough to keep them in business while they pursue other options. But U.S. authorities, including Trump, have said the Canadian dairy system is choking off sales of Wisconsin and NY milk in Canada. Dairy farmers around the world are often exposed to dramatic milk price fluctuations and must adapt quickly.

CTY. - United States President Donald Trump has taken aim at the Canadian dairy industry, calling treatment of American dairy farmers "unfair".

The move caught the attention of US state and federal lawmakers, who sought a solution to the Wisconsin farmers' desperate situation and called for an investigation of trade pacts with Canada.

The federal government has to negotiate with Canada to open the markets or it will mean several million more pounds of milk per day on the market, she said. Northern New York benefits greatly from smooth trade with Canada, so we hope that continues - and improves. One of Wisconsin's largest family-owned cheese factories, Mullins Cheese, has tossed a lifeline to eight dairy farms that were at risk of closing from a trade dispute with Canada. "Processors are telling farmers, 'We can work through this. but don't compound the problem by expanding milk output dramatically, '" said Bruce Jones, an agricultural economist at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Farms in NY and Minnesota were also affected by the change. "It's a disgrace", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office last week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of NY sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the country to come to an agreement with USA dairy producers, while Sen.

"Right now it's very hard to find room for even a tanker load of milk", he says. "When we renegotiate NAFTA, an agreement I opposed, we should make topic No. 1 enforcing existing trade commitments to reverse these restrictive dairy pricing policies". Well, this is his chance and he should fight for NY dairy farmers.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council, now led by Obama-era Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, is stressing the importance of U.S. dairy to Mexico. We talk to a lot of our dairy farmers who say their orders have gone down.

"There are farms still looking", she said.

Trump's administration on Monday said it would impose a tariff of about 20 percent on softwood lumber imported from Canada, and on Tuesday the president tweeted the U.S.

The situation was a near crisis because most milk processing plants already were running at full capacity and weren't accepting more farms. Therefore, we hope Trump proceeds carefully, in close consultation with others in the USA federal and state governments. "The fabric of our dairy industry is being tested now, but I think it will show its strength over the next couple of weeks", North said. "The issue with America's dairy farmers in Wisconsin is over-production and over-supply, not over Canada's system of supply management".

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