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Trump Responds to Canadian Milk Issue During Wisconsin Trip
USAgNet - 04/19/2017

After hearing from angry dairy farm families and Wisconsin politicians for nearly two weeks, President Donald Trump has made his first public comments about Canada's recent decision to stop taking ultra-filtered milk from the United States. During a stop in the Badger State on Tuesday, the president called Canada's actions 'unfair' and promised to resolve the issue quickly.

"We are going to stand up for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin... that demands really, immediately fair trade with all our trading partners, and that includes Canada," Trump said during a speech in Kenosha. "Because in Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers. And we're going to start working on that."

Trump went on to say that the issue is another 'typical one-sided deal against the United States' and that this latest incident is an example of why the North American Free Trade Agreement fails to keep America's best interest at hand.

"NAFTA has been very, very bad for our country. It's been very, very bad for our companies and our workers, and we're going to make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA for once and for all," he proclaimed.

Trump's comments came shortly after he received a letter from Gov. Scott Walker and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who urged the president to take action after Canada's sudden change in dairy pricing policy resulted in nearly 100 Wisconsin dairy farms being dropped from their suppliers.

"Wisconsin and New York dairy farmers are only the first victims of Canada's illicit dairy trade restrictions," the governors' memo stated. "Nearly one year ago, we, along with other state and U.S. dairy officials, warned our federal partners--and Canadian industry and government representatives at all levels--that protectionist regulations would harm U.S. dairy producers."

Meanwhile, Canada's envoy to Washington responded to Trump's comments late Tuesday. In his own letter to Walker and Cuomo, Ambassador David MacNaughton said the facts do not support a charge that 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 MacNaughton wrote.

Earlier this week, the Mosinee-based Mullins Cheese Co. announced it would take up to 100,000 pounds of milk from at least eight dairy farms that were notified by Grassland Dairy that it would no longer be purchasing their milk as of May 1. State agriculture officials are also calling on other dairy processors to step up and help farmers who may soon have no where else to go with their milk.

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