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July 23, 2018

Canadian Official: U.S. Dairy Trading Relationship with Canada Misunderstood

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

It seems that dairy trade with Canada has been in the spotlight of trade discussion for several months. According to Kirsten Hillman, Canadian Deputy Ambassador the U.S., there are several misunderstandings when it comes to our trading relationship with Canada. 

“[There are] a lot of misunderstandings [surrounding dairy] when it comes to the Canada-U.S. trading relationship,” she said at the POLITCO Pro Summit, according to Politico. 

"There's a misconception out there that Canada has tariffs in the dairy sector," Hillman said, "which is just not true."

She’s likely referring to the outraged that ensued throughout the U.S. when President Trump tweeted that there’s a 270% duty on U.S. dairy entering Canada

“Canada charges the U.S. a 270% tariff on Dairy Products! They didn’t tell you that, did they? Not fair to our farmers!” – President Trump tweeted on June 8, 2018.

He subsequently called for Canada to do away with their entire supply management system threatening the U.S. would leave the North American Free Trade Agreement otherwise. Abandoning supply management entirely is not something Canada is willing to do, according to Hillman. 

“President Trump isn’t going after the system of supply management as much as looking to dump surplus subsidized U.S. dairy products on the Canadian market,” said Pierre Lampron a seventh-generation Canadian dairy producer and president of Dairy Farmers of Canada. “The reality is their surplus is bigger than the 36 million Canadians can eat.”

According to Lampron, while Mexico is the No. 1 export market for U.S. dairy products, Canadians consume three times more U.S. dairy products per capita than Mexicans do.