Canadian ambassador, in letter to U.S. governors, defends dairy policies as compliant with NAFTA

April 19, 2017

Following President Trump’s charge earlier this week that U.S. dairy farmers have suffered from “some very unfair things” in Canada, the country’s envoy to Washington, David MacNaughton, said U.S. claims are not based on fact -- and that Canada is living up to its international trade obligations.

[Jenny Leonard] April 17th, 2017 [Inside U.S. Trade]

“Canada does not accept the contention that Canada’s dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States. The facts do not bear this out,” MacNaughton wrote in an April 18 letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

The letter is a response to one that Cuomo and Walker sent to President Trump the same day alleging that Canada, in a “blatant violation” of international trade agreements, “unilaterally shut down a thriving market for U.S. ultra-filtered milk.”

The issue in question is Canada’s implementation of a national ingredient strategy -- and its Milk Class 7 -- that the U.S. industry, backed by elected officials, claims is disincentivizing Canadian dairy processors from using U.S. exports, specifically ultrafiltered milk that sometimes is referred to as diafiltered milk. The new pricing policy, the U.S. side argues, has caused U.S. dairy farmers significant losses and runs afoul of Ottawa’s NAFTA obligations.

“Unfortunately,” Walker and Cuomo said in their letter, “it appears that while U.S. processors were making multi-million dollar investments to meet the growing cross-border market for ultra-filtered milk, the Canadian dairy industry and government were plotting a trade war against our nation’s dairy farmers.”

Read more at Inside US Trade

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