Canada's Trudeau defends dairy system after Trump criticism

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Trump was amplifying the complaints of Wisconsin and NY governors, who say Canada's decision to create a new lower-priced, classification of milk product has frozen us producers out of the Canadian market.

"Dairy trade between Canada and the U.S.is important and the sectoral trade balance massively favours the US, at around 5 to 1", the letter said.

The latest instalment in that debate, and the one that landed Canada squarely in Trump's crosshairs for the first time, is a new classification for a certain Canadian dairy product: ultra-filtered or diafiltered milk, essentially a protein-heavy concentrate used to make cheese.

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".

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"So the Americans are not suffering from the current terms of NAFTA and existing trade agreements", said Dumontier.

The U.S. now enjoys a $400-million dairy surplus with Canada, "so it's not Canada that is a challenge here", he said Thursday in a question-and-answer session with Bloomberg television.

Trump made his, apparently unplanned, remarks from the Oval Office before signing a presidential memorandum directing his Department of Commerce to investigate the national security implications of importing foreign-made steel.

"The three of us, in conjunction with Senator Tammy Baldwin and other stakeholders, will develop a comprehensive plan to tackle this issue", Schumer said.

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"There are irritants. There are always going to be irritants".

Champagne, a 46-year-old lawyer and worldwide trade specialist from the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec prior to entering politics in 2015, is leading a Canadian business delegation that will pitch Canadian softwood lumber as a must-have, environmentally friendly product during his first official visit to China that begins on Friday.

"I wasn't going to do this, but I was in Wisconsin the other day..." Tammy Baldwin offered similar pleas to Trump last week. It said the US has "raised serious concerns with Class 7".

"Canada does not accept the contention that Canada's dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States", MacNaughton said.

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Steel is expected to play a key role in any joint infrastructure projects between Canada and the USA, something Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to co-operate on during their White House meeting in February.

He reiterated his belief that the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he has vowed to renegotiate, has been hurting the US economy. During the election, Trump repeatedly attacked NAFTA, but always did so in reference to the US relationship with Mexico. "It is an unwise policy that violates our agreements and hurts our farmers, and we agreed to work together to immediately address the issue". "We can not continue like this, believe me".

"I think this is probably the biggest trade negotiations test it (supply management) has yet faced". The (U.S.) secretary of commerce hasn't been able to get the negotiating authority yet.

"We're not going to overreact", Trudeau said of the criticism by Mr. Trump, in the Bloomberg interview.

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Trump's threat to do away with or amend NAFTA could adversely affect the economy of Canada, whose largest trading partner is the U.S. More than 75% of Canada's exports go to the US, and only 18% is imported from U.S. The group has blamed oversupply of milk in the USA for the situation.

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