Trump vows to back US dairy farmers in Canada trade spat

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pinchuk.

President Donald Trump singled Canada out by name Tuesday as he put dairy farmers north of the border on notice that they are in America's fair-trade sights.

That was the backstory behind the US president's surprise decision to call out Canada by name Tuesday, putting dairy farmers north of the border on notice that they are in America's fair-trade sights.

Canada has chose to impose import taxes on ultra-filtered milk, a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese.

Trade groups for US dairy farmers have complained that a policy rolled out in Canada recently violates the trade agreement by creating incentives for Canadian processors to use local supplies.

Trump promises to work with Wisconsin's congressional delegation to get a solution.

In a joint letter, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) urged the administration to tell Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to halt the new pricing policy and restore imports of the blocked U.S. products, specifically ultra-filtered milk.

Far from the U.S.

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"If these multi-generational farm families can not find another market for their milk, they will be forced to sell their cows and go out of business", New York Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball wrote in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week.

The current system limits the amount of dairy and poultry Canada can import before a tariff kicks in.

Eight dairy producers who lost contracts earlier this month with Grassland Dairy were picked by Mullins Cheese.

"Can we renegotiate and get a better NAFTA deal?"

"We're going to make some very big changes", he said.

Francois Dumontier, a spokesman for Les Producteurs de lait du Quebec, said imports of USA milk products have increased since 1993 and now account for three-quarters of milk products in Canada.

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