Trump threatens Canada over milk imports

Kathleen Mckinney
April 30, 2017

Facing a shut down over a dispute with Canada, most of Wisconsin's dairy farmers have found new buyers for their milk.

While some farmers remained nervous about saying they had new milk contracts until everything was finalized, the tone in the dairy community was much improved Thursday.

From record high levels in 2014, the price farmers get for their milk has plummeted 30-40 percent, making it hard for many farms to break even.

Grassland notified the farms it would stop buying their milk May 1 after Canada changed its dairy pricing policy to favor domestic milk.

Farmers in the GLOW region should cheer President Donald Trump's assurances that he will pressure Canadian officials to uphold existing cross-border commitments and open their markets to USA dairy products.

The issue also had state and federal leaders working to negotiate with Canada, with Governor Scott Walker directly asking President Donald Trump to get involved in the dispute, which included placing a tariff on Canadian lumber.

He also cited numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to say that America's dairy industry woes are due to its own, as well as global, over production.

But a Canadian trade barrier is keeping some NY milk from crossing the border, drying up an important source of income, while putting even more milk on an already flooded US market.

I could write reams of copy of who is to blame: Canada, for clear violations of long standing trade agreements.

It then goes on to say how roughly 15 percent, or $5 billion, was exported overall past year with $631 million of that going to Canada.


Though NAFTA has increased trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States, farm profit margins did not increase. In May 2016, the Canadian Dairy Commission modified the 4M milk class to enable all its processors to buy a liquid, high-protein concentrate used in the manufacturing of cheese and yogurt, instead of imported milk protein concentrates - known as MPCs or ultra-filtered milk - effectively displacing imports.

Johnson's grandfather settled near La Crescent in 1887, and his father took over the farm in 1935. We did everything we could to hold everything together.

"Been fighting for NY dairy farmers on this", Schumer tweeted on Tuesday.

"The U.S. president is a classic bully".

The president is also looking at current USA regulations that he says hurt farmers and rural communities.

"It has been death by a thousand cuts for Wisconsin family-scale dairy farms over the past few decades".

"We have a game plan that takes us to May 1, and we know what benchmarks we have to meet every day", Smith said.

President Trump has discussed his disapproval of the NAFTA deal numerous times over the past year and has gone as far as to say it's "the worst trade deal in history". "This is not going to be a win for Canada to do this", Schumer warned in March of that year as he toured a milk processing plant in Cayuga County. Therefore, we hope Trump proceeds carefully, in close consultation with others in the USA federal and state governments.

"While I am discouraged that the call did not result in a solution to this crisis, I am encouraged that we have initiated an open dialogue, which will be crucial as we work to discover any avenue available to us to assist these farmers. To build upon that track record, we need to address unfinished business such as the remaining tariff and nontariff trade barriers that Canada has pursued".

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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