A trade dispute with Canada has Wisconsin dairy producers in a tough spot. Recent Canadian policy changes make it harder for U.S. processors to sell milk used to make cheese, on the Canadian market. That has Wisconsin’s congressional delegation asking the Trump administration to step in.
“All we’re asking for are fair rules and a level playing field,” U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin said. The Wisconsin Democrat, along with Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, sent a letter to Trump Administration officials, asking for actin on “restrictive Canadian trade barriers that are hurting American dairy farmers and processors.” Similar requests were made by the rest of Wisconsin delegation and industry groups.
Marty Hallock, President of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, said there is now more milk being produced than processors can handle — over 50 semi loads per day. “That’s a lot of milk — 100, 000, 130,000 pounds of cheese a day. You know when these processors take this on, they also have to have a market for it.”
Baldwin says Canadian trade barriers have already cost dairy producers in the U.S. millions of dollars. “Our top officials . . . need to be very direct with their Canadian counterparts,” she said. “Quick action will bode well for a healthy trade relationship going forward.”
A statement from Dairy Farmers of Canada said it’s wrong to blame Canadian domestic policy for the problems of the U.S. dairy industry.