The Saskatchewan dairy industry is not surprised by the latest attack on the Canadian dairy industry from U.S. president Donald Trump.
Trump is a vocal critic of NAFTA and recently criticized the Canadian dairy industry for unfair trading practices.
SaskMilk policy manager Joy Smith says the U.S. concern centres around the export of a type of protein product made from milk used for making cheese.
“There’s no new import tax or import duty,” said Smith. “No regulations have changed that affect the import of U.S. products. I want to make that clear. But the processors still have a choice and the processors are moving towards purchasing more Canadian product than American product right now.”
Smith says the Canadian dairy industry has become more competitive and remains confident the Canadian government will defend the dairy industry in this country.
She says Trump’s comments were no big surprise but she doesn’t expect Ottawa to trade away supply management for dairy.
“The previous government and the current government both support supply management,” said Smith. “They understand how beneficial our system is for Canada and for Canadians. They’ve given us no reason to believe they are not supporting us. So we trust them to do that.”
Smith says the U.S. criticism is unfair and actually allows a smaller percentage of imports to their dairy market than Canada.