Milking it for politics? U.S., Canada dig in on dairy in NAFTA talks

Milking it for politics? U.S., Canada dig in on dairy in NAFTA talks

09/17/2018 – Politico Decades-long trade tensions over America’s access to Canada’s dairy market are getting hashed out in the final rounds of the NAFTA talks. To clinch a deal, U.S. officials are demanding that Canada make major concessions.

President Donald Trump for months has criticized Canada’s system of controlling its milk supply as “not fair” and a “disgrace.” Last week, he again threatened to impose auto tariffs on Canada and leave the country out of a tentative deal with Mexico if it doesn’t accept more favorable terms for U.S. milk products. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated some willingness to be flexible, he has staunchly defended Canada’s system.

“I have no doubt that the Trump administration is serious,” said Craig Thorn, partner at DTB Associates, a Washington-based consulting firm specializing in trade and agriculture. “They have been so adamant that it would be hard for them to back down. But the Trump administration is asking for a lot, and not offering many attractive concessions in return.”

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