Wednesday, June 14, 2017

U.S. dairy farmers NAFTA goals outlined

Dairy farmers in the United States want the new pricing policies for diafiltered milk reversed across Canada.

The pricing policies enacted by provincial marketing boards made Canadian milk products competitive with imports from the United States.

That stopped the imports and triggered losses for dairy farmers in the United States. In Wisconsin they caught the attention of President Donald Trump who promised to fix the trade situation.

In a letter to Congress outlining what it wants, the U.S. dairy industry emphasized the diafiltered milk situation. It does not call for an end to supply management in Canada.

It also seeks increased low-tariff access to Canadian markets, aiming for more than the 3.52 per cent outlined in the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement negotiated before the U.S. pulled out and that deal collapsed.

Canadian dairy-product tariffs are 200 per cent or higher and enable Canadian dairy farmers to charge processors higher prices up to the level at which imports become competitive.

In answer to the U.S. dairy-industry letter, Canadians have said milk pricing for domestic consumption is not open to negotiation.