As U.S. President Donald Trump continues a war of words and tariffs against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister will meet with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to discuss their continued partnership.
Minister Lawrence MacAulay will meet with the United States’ Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in Prince Edward Island this week, on the back of negative fallout from the G7 Summit due to a flare-up between Trump and Trudeau.
While Trump left the city of Charlevoix, Que., where the summit was held this year, early, he didn’t leave before launching threats against the Canadian auto and dairy industries. The seven leaders who attended the summit did so shortly after Trump placed new tariffs on Canadian and European aluminum and steel, angering U.S. allies and prompting Trudeau to call the action “insulting.”
As tensions rise between the two leaders, whose respective nations share a notoriously close trade relationship, Minister MacAulay and Secretary Purdue intend to focus their discussions this Friday on how “our two nations are stronger together.”
“I look forward to hosting Secretary Perdue in Canada,” said the minister in a statement. “The agricultural partnership between Canada and the United States is a prime example of how our two nations are stronger together. This relationship enables us to bring safe, top-quality food to tables in North America and around the world.”
He went on to call the agriculture sectors of Canada and the U.S. “more interconnected than ever before, contributing to millions of jobs on both sides of the border.”
A representative from the minister’s office also told Global News that “I think it’s fair to say that the benefits of trade and NAFTA are always discussed when the secretary and the minister come together.”
Shortly after the conclusion of the G7 summit, the Dairy Farmers of Canada released a statement condemning Trump’s personal attacks on the prime minister. The statement also claimed that we purchase five times more dairy from the United States than they purchase from us. Furthermore, the statement added that 10 per cent of the Canadian dairy market is already open to tariff-free imports, compared to just three per cent in the U.S.
“The root of the US’ problem is that they are producing too much milk in an oversaturated world market. Canada already produces enough milk to fill Canadian demand. As Canada has less population than the state of California, and that Wisconsin alone produces more milk than all Canadian farms combined, clearly, the Canadian market is too small to make a dent in US overproduction,” read the statement.
Trump has long criticized Canada’s supply chain management dairy industry, which imposes a plethora of tariffs and quotas on imports to ensure Canadian dairy, egg and poultry farmers receive fair revenue from their products. Trump has also defended U.S. tariffs on Canadian goods by saying they are in response to a 270 per cent Canadian tariff on dairy.
In 2016, dairy sales outside of Canada were worth CAD$235 million, and half of those exports were to the United States.
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