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U.S. dairy companies push back against 'Canada’s protectionist policies'

Staff Writer |
The U.S. dairy industry continued to push back against "Canada’s protectionist policies that are effectively blocking American dairy imports into the country in violation of international agreements."

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A group of 17 dairy companies representing dairy farmers and processors from coast to coast asked governors in 25 states to urge Canadian policymakers to uphold existing trade commitments with the United States and halt the imminent implementation of a national strategy that would unfairly subsidize Canadian dairy products in its domestic and global markets.

"Trade cannot be a one-way street with Canada expecting to enjoy the benefits of exporting its products of interest to our market while denying a sector accounting for hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America reliable access to the Canadian market," the group said in its letter to the governors.

"[An existing provincial] program has already cost U.S. companies tens of millions of dollars in exports, thereby harming the dairy farmers, dairy plant employees and rural communities that depend on the benefits those foreign sales bring."

Beginning February 1, Canada is poised to expand the product scope of that provincial program while instituting it nationally. It also intends to disrupt skim milk powder markets around the world by using the new program to dump excess milk powder on global markets.

The 17 dairy companies sent the letter to governors in states with significant numbers of dairy farms and dairy processing companies because of the damage Canada’s policies have had already or are poised to have on these farms and companies, as well as their employees and many communities.

The letter urges state officials to "consider all tools at their disposal to ensure Canada understands the seriousness of this issue."

"In the current trade climate across North America, it is foolhardy for Canada to continue provoking the United States with a course of action that so blatantly violates our trade agreements," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

"We need our nation’s governors to join in our call for Canada to step back from the brink of what it is about to do and take steps to remind Canada how critical trade is to its own interests, as well."


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