Canada is not the problem, says MP Wayne Easter over dairy trade with the U.S.

Malpeque MP Wayne Easter has some advice for U.S. President Donald Trump over remarks claiming unfair dairy trade practices between Canada and the U.S. and the affects on the American dairy industry's revenue and jobs.

Canada is not the problem.

"Have a look at American dairy policy," said Easter, also co-chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, on CBC's Island Morning.

"The Americans … have overproduced in their country, and therein lies the problem. They need to look at a system that works. And, our [system] works for both farmers and consumers."

At a speech to factory workers in Wisconsin on Tuesday, Trump criticized Canadian dairy regulations and supply management system, calling trade between the two countries a "one-sided deal" that doesn't allow U.S. farmers to compete fairly. He also criticized recent pricing changes for dairy ingredients in Canada for making U.S. imports less competitive and costing Americans revenue and jobs.

In terms of dairy, Easter said that Canada imports 10 per cent of products while the U.S. only allows three per cent. Those remarks about dairy trade as well as softwood lumber have raised concerns about the future of trade between the two countries and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But Easter noted that the U.S. has a lot invested in trade with Canada. 

"There's nine million American jobs as a result of the Canadian trade. The efficiencies of the supply chain between Canada, United States and North America make us great competitors with the rest of the world. So you've got to factor in all those other things," he said 

"It just can't be your way or the highway, and I think that is what President Trump is beginning to find out. The reality on the ground in terms of the political atmosphere that he deals in with Congress and Senate and the reality of trade agreements as they exist."

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