The first signs of tough trade talk from U.S. President Donald Trump against Canada.
During a speech Tuesday in Wisconsin, Trump took aim at Canada over a dispute involving an import tax on a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese.
U.S. dairy farmers say the product should not be subject to Canadian import taxes — a position Trump appears to support.
“And I’ve been reading about it and I’ve been talking about it for a long time,” said Trump. “And that demands, really, immediately, fair trade with all of our trading partners. And that includes Canada.”
Last week, Trump received a letter from four U.S. dairy industry groups — the National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture — that accused Canada of violating its trade commitments to the U.S.
The Dairy Farmers of Canada has issued a brief statement saying ”it is confident that the Canadian government will continue to defend the Canadian dairy industry.”
In the meantime, Canada’s envoy to Washington says the facts don’t support a charge the Canadian dairy industry is to blame for the woes of some American farmers.
“Canada does not accept the contention that Canada’s dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States,” Ambassador David MacNaughton said in a letter to the governors of Wisconsin and New York.