June 14, 2018 8:37 pm
Updated: June 19, 2018 5:02 pm

Sask. producer expanding despite Trump’s threat dairy deal is about to spoil

WATCH ABOVE: A Saskatchewan dairy producer is expanding despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat that a deal is about to spoil.


When it comes to trade with the United States, Canada’s closest ally and largest trading partner, tensions are high. Canadian steel and aluminum took the first hit and it seems a decades-old deal on Canadian dairy might too be spoiling.

READ MORE: Freeland says tariffs on steel, aluminum represent U.S. ‘putting its thumb on the scale’

After nearly 40 years in operation, Melvin Foth and his family have grown their dairy operation from 40 cows to 600. Under a supply management system, Foth waits for opportunities to expand, recently gaining authorization to increase his quota by about 200 cows.

Melvin Foth believes the Canadian dairy industry has never been as unstable as it currently is.

Wendy Winiewski

“We are currently starting construction of another barn,” Foth said.

An expansion at Foth Ventures is underway, despite U.S. President Donald Trump creating instability in the sector.

Devin Sauer

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But the timing couldn’t be worse. Canadian dairy is unstable after U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at the sector at the G7 summit.

“The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades and we can’t do that anymore,” Trump said.

READ MORE: Trump blasts G7 allies before blasting off from summit

“People can’t charge us 270 per cent and we charge them nothing. That doesn’t work anymore,” he said.

Dairy in the U.S. is struggling. While SaskMilk admits tariffs on select dairy products are nearly 300 per cent, Canadian milk is directly paid for by the consumer.

“If Canada were to remove every tariff on our dairy products or eggs or poultry it’s not going to level the playing field because again, in the U.S., they’re getting government subsidies and price support programs and other things that are assisting their producers,” Joy Smith, with SaskMilk, said.

Joy Smith, with SaskMilk, believes any changes to the current supply management system would have an immediate effect on Canadian dairy producers.

Wendy Winiewski/Global News

Critics have accused Trump of cherry picking his facts and not mentioning 10 per cent of U.S. dairy enters Canada tariff free.

Trump has taken to twitter attacking Canadian dairy and the prime minister – who stand united.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau has solid support from Canadians, but angry dairy farmers on the horizon

NAFTA negotiations continue and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay will host the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on his family farm in P.E.I. Friday.

Meanwhile on his dairy farm in central Saskatchewan, Foth continues milking.

“We have concerns today. Those concerns are greater than they have been but we’re still optimistic and hopeful.”

After all, there’s no use crying over the potential of spilled milk.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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