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DFC responds to Trump’s comments

DFC responds to Trump’s comments

The President tweeted about dairy trade between Canada and the U.S.

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The group representing the interests of Canadian dairy farmers issued a statement yesterday in response to recent criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Canada has a trade deficit of 5:1 with the U.S. on dairy alone,” Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, said in a statement yesterday. “Furthermore, 10 per cent of the Canadian dairy market is already open to tariff-free imports – compared to only 3 per cent in the U.S.”

“Canadian dairy farmers and their families are concerned by the sustained attacks by President Trump with an aim to wiping out dairy farmers here at home.”

Following his departure from the G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Que. on Saturday, President Trump has alluded that his tariffs on aluminum and steel imports are related to Canadian tariffs on U.S. dairy products.

“Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” Trump tweeted on Saturday.

Canada does charge a 270 per cent tariff on some dairy products, the Canada Border Services Agency says.

But, given the size difference between the Canadian market and some of America’s top dairy states, these levies help prevent an oversupply of milk.

“As Canada has less population than the state of California, and Wisconsin alone produces more milk than all Canadian farms combined, clearly, the Canadian market is too small to make a dent in U.S. overproduction,” Lampron said in the statement.

Canadian economists argue Trump’s targeting of the dairy industry is unnecessary.

The U.S. exports $33 billion worth of goods to Canada monthly. President Trump should perhaps focus on maintaining key trade relationships rather than upset them over a small portion of goods, said Derek Holt, vice-president of Scotiabank Economics.

“Better judgement would question whether an entire trading relationship needs to be jeopardized in order to appeal to dairy farmers in Wisconsin,” he told CBC today.

“While they might provide friction between trading partners, import quotas among most developed nations are not on a scale that should cause a breakdown of the global trading system,” Royce Mendes, a senior economist with CIBC World Markets, told CBC.