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Canada refutes U.S. claims of unfair dairy trade
20 April 2017, 10:28 | Terri Saunders
Dairy farmers worry about trade to Mexico
Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent Trump a letter on Tuesday urging him to take action.
"The facts do not bear this out".
"When there's [Can]$2 billion worth of trade going both ways every single day ... and 9 million jobs in the US that depend on trade with Canada, you know, I think it's going to work out just fine", MacNaughton said, as reported in the Financial Post.
Trump launched his broadside after a brewing trade spat that has seen the USA dairy lobby accuse Canada of "systemic disregard" of its trade obligations, while the Canadian industry accused its American rival of "scapegoating".
Trump levelled the threats - some of his strongest-ever anti-Canadian rhetoric - during an event at a Wisconsin factory where he unveiled his "Buy American-Hire American" executive order.
The surprise tongue-lashing represents some of the new administration strongest anti-Canada rhetoric thus far, and a significant departure from the relatively warm reception Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received on his first meeting with Trump in the USA capitol.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also took a stand against Trump's latest salvo on global trade, saying he will stand up for family farms in his province and to "defend the right of young people to choose a rural way of life in agriculture".
Trump has recently been contacted by the governors of both Wisconsin and NY, as well as several U.S dairy production boards, who want him to urge Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do away with the pricing policy. Trump promised to work with Wisconsin's congressional delegation to get a solution after the governors of Wisconsin and NY urged him to take action. It was duty free until Canadian producers complained.
Canada's ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton is downplaying any cross-border tension with the United States over dairy tariffs, calling the relationship "terrific" and "a model for the rest of the world".
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He also pointed out that "Canada's dairy industry is less protectionist than the USA, which has employed technical barriers to keep Canadian dairy out of the US market".
MacNaughton backed the organization's position that Canada has done nothing to block USA imports, and that the predicament is the result of an "over-saturated" market that has led to lower prices.
Despite the dust-up over dairy, MacNaughton struck an upbeat tone while discussing Canada-U.S. trade with reporters in Halifax on Wednesday. "As made clear in the report, Canada is not a contributor to the overproduction problem".
That leaves plenty of time for Trump to adopt MacNaughton's "glass is half full" outlook on Canada-U.S. trade.
Dairy industries organizations in Australia and New Zealand said Wednesday that they would support the US if it took the dairy dispute to the World Trade Organization, following Trump's declaration that existing rules are unfair, the Financial Post reported. Walker said he also planned to talk privately with Trump about the issue during his stop in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
The work would start immediately, he added.
"When it comes to wasteful destructive job killing regulations, we are going to use a tool you know very well - it's called the sledgehammer", he said. "We're going to get the solution".
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