January 12, 2017

Organizations Ask Trump to Take Action on Trade with Canada

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Canada continues to thumb its nose at trade agreements and President-elect Trump is being asked to do something about it.

U.S. dairy organizations and the state departments of agriculture across the country told Trump that Canada’s trade policies are designed to block imports from the United States. According to the letter these policies are in direct violation of Canada’s trade commitments under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization. The letter urged the president-elect and his key cabinet members to take immediate action.

U.S. dairy suppliers are reporting that they are already losing business from Canada’s actions which are resulting in lost revenues and jobs for dairy farmers and processors across the United States.

“This negative impact is conservatively estimated at $150 million worth of ultra-filtered milk exports being lost by companies in Wisconsin and New York, which are highly reliant on their trade with Canada. In fact, the entire U.S. dairy industry is being hurt, as milk prices are being driven down nationally by Canada’s trade actions,” the groups said. “Having an even wider impact on America’s dairy farmers and processors, additional large volumes of skim milk powder will be forced onto the thinly traded global market resulting in a further depression of prices that will negatively impact the revenues of dairy farmers around the world.”

Canada is Flouting Trade Obligations

The U.S. dairy industry is already restricted by Canada’s exorbitant tariffs, the letter sponsors said, and only limited market access is granted under NAFTA. Canada is one of America’s top trading partners, yet the country is clearly flouting its trade obligations by implementing and enforcing these policies.  

“The U.S. dairy industry is highly competitive internationally, and overseas markets represent a vital source of future growth opportunities including thousands of new American jobs,” the letter states. “Not long ago, the United States was a net importer of dairy products, but now our nation benefits from a dairy trade surplus of over $2 billion. Enforcement of current trade agreements, whether bilateral or multilateral in nature, is central to strengthening the U.S. economy.”

The letter sent to Trump was signed by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).

Read the letter here.