Trump vows to solve dairy dispute with Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday brushed off an attack by U.S. President Donald Trump against Canada's system of dairy protections, saying every nation defended its agricultural industries.

For his part, Finance Minister Bill Morneau will tell this week's meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington that Trump's executive order runs contrary to Canada's trading interests.

The president took issue with Canadian changes on milk classification that he said have put farmers in Wisconsin and NY state out of business.

That was the backstory behind the US president's surprise decision to call out Canada by name Tuesday, putting dairy farmers north of the border on notice that they are in America's fair-trade sights.

At the beginning of this month, Grassland Dairy Products notified 75 Wisconsin farmers their milk contract would end in May. Canada changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including ultra-filtered milk that compete with USA milk.

"There's a recognition that the levers that the federal government has cover the entire country and the housing market in Vancouver or Toronto is somewhat different than that in Halifax or Saskatoon or even Montreal", Trudeau said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland noted in a statement in response to Trump that any increase of trade barriers between the two countries would significantly affect jobs in the US and Canada. Dismantling it would mean lower prices at the supermarket, and a more internationally competitive industry, says the paper. It had been duty-free but Canada changed course after its milk producers complained. The White House says the program undercuts American workers by bringing in large numbers of cheaper foreign workers, which drives down USA wages.

"It is wrong to use Canada as a scapegoat for the situation in the United States". "And we're going to start working on that".

They say the Trump administration plans to take steps to protect the integrity of the US steel industry. "Those trade agreements traditionally have taken a lot of time and effort to get everybody on the same page and we know we've benefited tremendously on the NAFTA agreement that we have", Brown said.

Far from the U.S.

The president took issue with changes on milk classification that he says have put farmers in Wisconsin and NY state out of business.

"We're going to get together and we're going to call Canada, and we're going to say, 'What happened?' And they might give us an answer, but we're going to get the solution and not just the answer, because we know what the solution is".

"If these multi-generational farm families can not find another market for their milk, they will be forced to sell their cows and go out of business", New York Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball wrote in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week.

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