On a visit to the USA cheese-making state of Wisconsin on Tuesday, Trump said he would "stand up for our dairy farmers" adding that "in Canada some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others". 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.
"Mexico is our biggest destination for dairy and it's not only dairy", said Fairfield farmer Harold Howrigan Jr., of the US trade partnership with Mexico.
Last week, a spokesperson for the Dairy Farmers of Canada said the United States needs to be responsible for managing its own production, and that it is not their responsibility to consume America's over-supply of milk when they already have more than enough for its own market.
"We don't feel good about USA farms going out of business".
Canada recently informed major Wisconsin and NY processors that they will no longer have a market for ultra-filtered milk. It had been duty free. "What has happened to you is very unfair".
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Speaking in Wisconsin Tuesday, Trump vowed to "immediately" address a growing trade dispute between Canada and the United States. He suggested it has stalled his attempt to renegotiate NAFTA.
"We're going to get together and we're going to call Canada and we are going to ask them what happened", he said.
The remarks are a marked departure from Trump's previous comments on Canada.
"I don't expect there would be many countries that would do anything other than support a WTO action against Canada", said Australian Dairy Farmers interim Chief Executive Officer John McQueen in a telephone call. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer visited Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Aurelius to speak out against the trade barriers.
The current system limits the amount of dairy and poultry Canada can import before a tariff kicks in. Trade between Canada and NY totaled $32.93 billion in goods and supported more than 500,000 jobs. However, he said it could add more surplus to the market and further depress the price farmers get paid for milk all over the country.