Even as he continued to blast Canadian dairy tariffs, President Trump said on Tuesday that “we’re getting there” in negotiations for the new NAFTA.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was quick to say he's not a NAFTA negotiator but he repeatedly told reporters during a visit to Prince Edward Island that "it is not our desire to do away with" Canada's supply management system for dairy – if Canada does a better job of managing the supply. "They can't use the supply management system to negatively affect our producers south of the border," said Perdue during a teleconference.
Canadian regulators are puzzled by the discovery of seven genetically modified wheat stalks in southern Alberta that contain herbicide-tolerant genes, said the Manitoba Cooperator, but they say there's no sign of GMO wheat in the country's seed or wheat supplies. No country has approved GMO wheat for commercial use. Japan suspended purchases of Canadian wheat on Friday until it is certain there are no GMOs in the grain, reported Global News.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is in Canada for a bilateral meeting today with Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay on “issues of shared importance in agriculture.” At the same time, NAFTA negotiations seem to be gaining new footing.
President Trump has repeatedly attacked the Canadian dairy industry with the aim of "wiping out dairy farmers here at home," said Dairy Farmers of Canada on Monday. Meanwhile, U.S. and Canadian farm groups urged government leaders "to engage in positive discourse that protects the strong trade ties that benefit American and Canadian farmers alike."
President Trump told American farmers on Monday, "By the time I finish trade talks," China, Canada and Mexico, the three largest customers for U.S. farm exports, will remove trade barriers to American products. The president issued the assurances on social media after inconclusive talks with China over the weekend and three days after he said he was open to separate trade deals with Mexico and Canada instead of an updated NAFTA.
One-third of U.S. agricultural trade flows through Canada and Mexico, and both nations quickly vowed tit-for-tat tariffs on U.S. food and ag products after President Trump announced duties on steel and aluminum from the North American neighbors on Thursday.
Stronger prices and rising demand for U.S. farm exports will propel sales to $142.5 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, said the USDA on Thursday. It would be the second-highest export total ever.
The third-most populous province in Canada discriminates unfairly against U.S. wine, said the Trump administration in asking the World Trade Organization to rule on retail wine sales in British Columbia. The issue of wine sales in grocery stores has been raised in negotiations over the new NAFTA as well.
The U.S. dairy industry launched the “Got Jobs?” campaign on Monday to highlight the importance of the dairy sector and build support for dairy exports, which account for about 14 percent of U.S. milk production.