April 17, 2017

Progress Can Be Made on Trade with Canada

 |  By: Bloomberg News

President Donald Trump can “make progress” on lifting trade barriers for U.S. dairy products in Canada, a member of his campaign agriculture advisory team said.

The Trump administration could open up the market for U.S. dairy in Canada if the White House moves to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, Chuck Conner, president of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, told an audience at the Consumer Federation of America’s National Food Policy Conference April 12.

“I think you can see the opportunity here as we look at our trade policy and re-evaluation, update, whatever you want to call it, of making some headway with the Canadians and their dairy policy.” Conner said.

Not in NAFTA

Dairy isn't included in the free trade provisions of NAFTA, and Canada's supply management system restricts imports of cheese, butter, milk and other dairy products from the U.S.

That has raised the ire of U.S. dairy farmers, who say the restrictions violate existing trade agreements and are exacerbating a glut of milk in the U.S. Trade restrictions have begun to impact market access for some U.S. companies, causing at least two companies to cut off supply from as many as 100 producers in Wisconsin and New York effective May 1. 

A coalition of dairy trade groups including the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council recently urged the Trump administration to fight back against what they said were Canada’s protectionist trade policies.