"All our cows down there go back probably 30 years, to my dad's herd", Ralph Peirick said. "A few processors have told us they really want to help us, but they simply can't take on new patrons because it would jeopardize their current patron base. We'll have to wait and see", Stephenson said. He said Canada's current action amounts to "neutralizing the advantage that the USA had".
Lawmakers from dairy producing states like Wisconsin and NY, as well as American dairy organisations, have been lobbying the president for months to take on the Canadian dairy industry for practices they say are in violation of trade commitments.
Canada's Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, addressed the issue in a letter addressed to the governors of NY and Wisconsin on Tuesday.
"The facts do not bear this out". There are fears among Canadians that they could be hurt as Trump targets Mexico in a re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump levelled the threat during an event at a Wisconsin factory where he unveiled his "Buy American-Hire American" executive order. "As a matter of fact, Canada's dairy industry is less protectionist than that of the US, which has employed technical barriers to keep Canadian dairy out of the USA market". He vowed to get Canada to lift its trade limitations.
So to stop the USA competition, the Canadian boards created a new class of milk, to be sold at lower, market prices, for sale to those cheese and yogurt processors. In a letter to WXOW-TV in La Crosse, Andrea Genereaux of the Dairy Processors Association of Canada said America's "finger pointing" is puzzling to them because they are also experiencing significant challenges with an over-supply of milk in their own country.
More than 70 dairy producers in both Wisconsin and NY are affected. Focus instead on where he made his announcement: in Wisconsin, a politically sensitive swing state that is home to 9,000 dairy farms and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The U.S. dairy sector and state agriculture officials urged President Trump to take immediate action against Canada's repeated and escalating disregard for its trade obligations under NAFTA.More news: Serena expecting baby this year
The U.S.in 2015 imported $22 billion in agricultural products from Canada, according to the U.S. Trade Representative.
The Dairy Farmers of Canada said it was confident Ottawa would "continue to protect and defend" the dairy industry.
Dairy policy aside, Wolf says the current USA administration is "absolutely determined to be protectionist and that is bad news for Canada and the world". "The Wisconsin people are trying to find an enemy - when in reality the problem they have is that they're overproducing". Under Mr. Harper, the Conservatives did calculations about the political costs of sacrificing supply management.
He also stressed the importance of the two countries working together to grow middle class jobs and "not to lay blame where it does not belong".
Trump did not specify what parts of Canada's tariff-protected dairy sector he wanted to change, nor what measures he would take to make it happen, but his remarks re-ignited calls from rival exporters for a fresh complaint to the WTO.
Standing up for dairy farmers in Wisconsin "demands fair trade with all of our trading partners", Trump said, "and that includes Canada".
"I'm not saying we'll have another great depression, but this is surely not going to be helpful to economic growth and to prosperity in the world". "Our relationship with the USA administration is extremely strong and I think it's going to pay dividends in the long run".