Australia, New Zealand back Trump on possible WTO action on Canada dairy

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USA farmers have claimed they are losing up the US$150 million per year because of heavy import tariffs on ultra-filtered milk used to produce cheese.

US dairy groups appealed to Trump for help after Canada recently introduced a new policy that gives the country's producers an incentive to buy domestic supplies of ultra-filtered milk, a concentrated ingredient used to boost protein content in cheese and yogurt.

President Donald Trump ratcheted up his criticism of Canada on Thursday, slamming the country for protectionist measures it has taken with its dairy industry that Trump says have negatively affected U.S. dairy farmers.

The specific program in question is the National Ingredients Strategy, a type of pricing program that gives incentives for Canadian dairy processors that steer them away from purchasing USA dairy products.

The National Milk Producers Federation said losses for the dairy industries in Wisconsin and NY alone could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

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The Dairy Farmers of Canada also updated their brand strategy to help consumers spot American ingredients on grocery shelves. They're asking the USDA to create a market by buying surplus cheese and butter, and distributing them through the school lunch and other food aid programs. "And we'll be reporting back some time over the next two weeks as to NAFTA and what we are going to do about it", Trump said.

Freeland said that Canada buys more from the US than any other country, including the European Union, Mexico, China and Japan and that nine million jobs in the USA depend on trade and investment with Canada.

President Donald Trump called Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Thursday to discuss how to address Canada's "unfair" dairy pricing programs, Schumer, D-N.Y., confirmed in a statement released Friday. "We can't let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers".

Ottawa operates a supply-managed system that tightly controls production and imports to support prices.

University of Toronto political scientist Grace Skogstad says that while the Canadian dairy sector is "vulnerable" to external trade pressures, it has weathered disputes before, including under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Schumer said Friday morning that he spoke with Trump about the matter Thursday, and that the two men will join with Ryan to tackle the Canadian dairy trade issue.

"This has been an issue for a very long time, Trump or no Trump", she said.

Minutes later came the now-familiar sight of Trump in the Oval Office, followed by a pointed attack on Canadian trade practices and the impact on USA interests.

"President Trump's reaction is not surprising".

MacNaughton writes that the Canada dairy industry is less protectionist than that of the U.S, which he says has employed technical barriers to keep Canadian dairy out of the US market.

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That said, contrary to what we think, it is Justin Trudeau who should have the big stick in this commercial war that Donald Trump wants to deliver. The U.S. President decried the lack of domestic energy independence while simultaneously giving the green light to TransCanada's Keystone XL.

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