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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Trump attacks Canada's supply management cartels. Reply with quote

Canadian dairy farmers being ‘very unfair’ to U.S. counterparts, Trump rails
By The Canadian Press — Apr 18 2017

OTTAWA — President Donald Trump singled Canada out by name Tuesday as he put dairy farmers north of the border on notice that they are in America's fair-trade sights.

Trump also signalled he wants to do more than simply tweak the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying he is looking for "very big changes" to the trilateral pact that includes Mexico, or else he will scrap it once and for all.

Trump levelled the threats — some of his strongest-ever anti-Canadian rhetoric — during an event at a Wisconsin factory where he unveiled his "Buy American-Hire American" executive order.

After what has been a relatively warm beginning in relations with Canada, which included what was seen by many as a positive trip to Washington by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump dropped the gloves on Canada's well-guarded dairy sector, one of the sacred cows of Canadian industry.

Other countries have taken runs at Canada's sacrosanct supply-management system in previous trade negotiations, and Trump appeared to be taking dead aim during his appearance Tuesday in the U.S. Midwest — in a state he took from the Democrats with his "America First" anti-trade message.

"When it comes to wasteful destructive job killing regulations, we are going to use a tool you know very well — it's called the sledgehammer," Trump said.

Standing up for dairy farmers in Wisconsin "demands fair trade with all of our trading partners," Trump said, "and that includes Canada."

In Canada, he continued, "some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others and we're going to start working on that."

Canada has decided to impose import taxes on ultra-filtered milk, a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese. It had been duty-free but Canada changed course after milk producers there complained.

About 70 dairy producers in both Wisconsin and New York are affected. Trump promised to work with Wisconsin's congressional delegation to get a solution after the governors of Wisconsin and New York urged him to take action.

The work would start immediately, Trump said.

"What's happened to you is very, very unfair. It's another typical one-sided deal against the United States and it's not going to be happening for long," he said.

"We're going to get together and we're going to call Canada, and we're going to say, 'What happened?' And they might give us an answer, but we're going to get the solution and not just the answer, because we know what the solution is."

Trump also criticized the U.S. trading regime, which calls for a waiting period, and consultations that can stretch to three months or beyond. He suggested it has stalled his attempt to renegotiate NAFTA.

"The whole thing is ridiculous. NAFTA has been very, very bad for our country. It's been very, very bad for our companies and our workers, and we're going to make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA for once and for all."

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will tell this week's meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington that Trump's executive order runs contrary to Canada's trading interests.

Senior finance officials who briefed reporters on the meetings suggest the order would run counter to protections Canada has secured through the NAFTA.

Morneau and U.S. counterpart Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be in Washington on Thursday for meetings that will include central bank governors and officials from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Trump said his order would minimize exemptions that allow foreign companies to bid on projects in the U.S., something Canada currently enjoys under NAFTA.

Last month, a free-market think tank suggested using more open trade in the dairy sector as a bargaining chip in upcoming trade negotiations with the U.S. in exchange for more stable trade in softwood lumber.

The Montreal Economic Institute recommended limiting protectionism in both industries to help consumers, spur economic productivity, and ultimately create more successful businesses in both countries.

Both are shielded from open trade in the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, employ more than 200,000 people in Canada, and claim a similar economic value of $14-15 billion to Canada's GDP.

The current system limits the amount of dairy and poultry Canada can import before a tariff kicks in. Dismantling it would mean lower prices at the supermarket, and a more internationally competitive industry, says the paper.

The Canadian Press

This is not a bad thing for Canada, although the farmers will have to make some adjustments. Basically, they will be bought out of their 'quota'. There's something else we should get used to -- we are going to lose on the softwood lumber issue as well because we are wrong. As well as wasteful, not-green, and stubbornly stupid. NAFTA values these imports at their replacement value, and if the lumber is sold below that value -- which it is -- it is 'dumping' as subject to a countervailing tariff.

In British Columbia, all those 'greens' are perfectly happy to harvest trees and dump raw sewage into the ocean.

But it will be interesting to see how the cockroaches scurry now that the lights have been turned on. Top of the list -- the contenders for the Conservative leadership. We will soon see which of them is genuinely a free market conservative, and which are not.

But it will be equally interesting to see how the Trudeaucrats handle this. These cartels were one of the signature moves of the first Trudeau's government. (Anybody remember Eugene Whelan?)

For mainstream Canadians, it will mean competition ... and with it, lower prices for milk and poultry, as well as higher quality of product. Maybe we'll even be allowed to produce cheddar cheese of the first rank, once again.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's fascinating that Conservatives have so little interest in trade and economic issues.

Let's get going on NAFTA renegotiation, says Marc Garneau
Chair of Canada/US cabinet committee says uncertainty is hurting business on both sides of the border
By Nick Gamache, CBC News Posted: Apr 22, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 22, 2017 10:08 AM ET

The chair of the cabinet committee on Canada/U.S. relations says the sooner things get going on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement the better.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the uncertainty caused by U.S. President Donald Trump's anti–NAFTA rhetoric is hurting business on both sides of the border

"I hope we will get this under way fairly quickly, because in the United States and in Canada those who are interested in trading and investing are living with a certain amount of uncertainty," Garneau told CBC Radio's The House. [....]

I am glad to see someone trying to avoid the trade war possibilities.

Canadians should understand -- we are wrong, according to NAFTA itself -- on the softwood timber issue. We sell our wood at below the replacement value of the wood, contrary to the deal. We have no right to expect any different resolution. The Americans will impose a countervailing tariff. British Columbia should smarten up, if they want to have secure access to the American market.

The supply-management schemes are different. They don't enter into trade, first of all, and secondly, they were exempted from the treaty. But Harper was willing to put them on the table to satisfy the Asian trade deal that was in the works before Trump ended it. We should certainly be willing to look at that.

If we could keep a fair dispute settling system in place, we might give way on the 'supply management' issue. That's my view.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to be such a bore about such a pedestrian matter as the looming trade war with the USA, but here I go again ... I wonder if there's any reason to think about this as we go into the final stretch of the Conservative leadership race? Should the Conservative Party have a strategy on this? Just sayin ...

Opening shot coming this week in fifth softwood lumber war between Canada-U.S.
By Alexander Panetta — Apr 22 2017

WASHINGTON — The opening shot in a fifth softwood-lumber war between the United States and Canada is expected this week, and policy-makers north of the border are preparing to calculate the potential damage of American duties.

The U.S. Commerce Department is likely to announce Tuesday the first of two anticipated duties on Canadian softwood, which would be applied on Canadian imports as they were in disputes in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s.

Canada's central bank cited in its latest policy review uncertainty in lumber as a reason behind increased prices, and a slowdown in shipments; its governor said Saturday the impact would become easier to gauge after the specifics of duties became known.

But parts of the country would feel the effects, Stephen Poloz said.

"If there's going to be some sort of countervailing duty that raises the price of Canadian lumber — chances are that's going to cause lower exports. It would make U.S. lumber more competitive, relatively speaking," the Bank of Canada governor told reporters during international financial meetings in Washington.

"It is an important business for Canada. It's got a lot of employment in it. It's geographically diverse. So it matters."

Lumber isn't the only Canadian industry bracing for potential U.S. action. President Donald Trump has complained about that industry, plus dairy, and energy. Next week, Trump will release his proposals for tax reform — it's not yet clear whether he will favour a kind of import tax.

As for the value of potential softwood duties, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, Paul Quinn, said recently he anticipates a "shock and awe" move with duties in the range of 30 to 40 per cent.

The past dispute started in 2001 with U.S. penalties of 27.22 per cent for countervailing duties, and anti-dumping duties ranging from two to 16 per cent for different companies.

The root of the recurring softwood disputes stems from the U.S. industry's contention that Canada unfairly subsidizes its lumber by providing cheap access to public land. It's led to a cycle of American punitive action, followed by trade cases mostly won by Canada, and then a compromise settlement.

The impact of the dispute varies between Canadian regions, which have different lumber regimes.

But a CIBC paper last year found that, in the most recent dispute that stemmed from 2001 to 2006, western cedar exports to the U.S. dropped 36 per cent in the first six months, before stabilizing to 90 per cent of their long-term average.

Over the course of that lumber war, duties were lowered in 2004, and, after repeated court fights, the countries reached a settlement in 2006 that set conditions on Canadian imports.

Memories of that last dispute linger in the U.S. Capitol and could affect upcoming NAFTA negotiations. U.S. lawmakers remain miffed their industry lost court cases in NAFTA's dispute-settlement system and want the relevant chapter, 19, scrapped or overhauled in a future NAFTA.

The last time out lumber from New Brunswick did not have a countervailing tariff placed on it because it was priced in accordance with the rules. It should be the same this time.

Interesting, isn't it, that the media do so little to explain the legal basis of the complaint.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trade and economic issues, in general, have little interest to Conservatives who are deciding which chocolate to select from the boxful of leadership bon-bons they are being offered.

Are the party rank and file content to wait for the leadership to tell them what to do? They will do whatever is the opposite of what the Liberals do, don't we know that? They will to make hay out of it. And the Liberals will do what the polls tell them to do, which will make that a low-probability of success strategy. It isn't like there's any principles involved.

The propaganda guns are being wheeled into place. Donald Trump has been roiling the dairy farmers of Wisconsin about 'unfair' supply management practices in Canada. This was in Bloomberg today:

Trudeau’s Reward for Courting Trump Is a Trade War on Lumber
by Josh Wingrove
April 25, 2017, 11:21 AM EDT April 25, 2017, 2:45 PM EDT
Prime minister upended his domestic agenda to woo president
Canada is now a U.S. target on softwood, dairy and Nafta

Justin Trudeau has always played nice with Donald Trump. The refugee-hugging liberal bit his tongue, flooded Washington with envoys, feted Ivanka Trump on Broadway and relentlessly talked up Canada-U.S. ties.

It hasn’t worked.

On Monday, Trump teed off a fresh trade war by slapping tariffs of up to 24 percent on Canadian softwood lumber as battles brew over the North American Free Trade Agreement and the dairy industry. After winning praise for his Trump strategy, with Angela Merkel and others pressing the Canadian prime minister for advice, Trudeau finds himself a target -- or an example.

“Think of this as the violin Trump gets to play and set the mood of the place,” said Eric Miller, a former Canadian diplomat who is now a Washington-based trade consultant with the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group. “It’s a great way to underline America First to the Europeans, Japanese and others, if you actually take a hard line with Canada.”

Canada is hardly a poster-child trade offender for Trump. It’s the number-one buyer of U.S. goods with a largely balanced trade relationship (totaling $635 billion in 2016, according to U.S. census data), a peaceful next-door neighbor and among the closest U.S. allies. Trudeau moderated his message, re-calibrated his domestic agenda to court Trump and even helped him dial back G-20 commitments on trade. [....]

It isn't really true. When Trump still looked like a long-shot, Justin made it clear he thought he was a bozo. He sneered at his insistence on 'vetting' Moslem immigrants and enforcing existing American law at the border, for example. But you don't change government policy in a serious country by flattering the President's daughter, believe it or not.

Trump is starting with Canada because Canada has so few cards to play, and because its leadership is in the hands of a patsy. This is particularly true about soft-wood lumber from BC and other western provinces. We are wrong about this. We have had 30 years to fix the problem, and haven't done it. Who are we to blame?

Why Trump is starting a trade war with Canada
The president can look tough on tariffs against a country that has little room to retaliate.

By ADAM BEHSUDI 04/25/17 03:27 PM EDT Updated 04/25/17 08:41 PM EDT

President Donald Trump’s administration fired its first shot in a potential trade war, but it’s not Beijing or Mexico City in the crosshairs. The target: Our friendly neighbor to the north, Canada.

Trump has escalated what were modest and longstanding frictions with Ottawa over U.S. dairy products and Canadian lumber into a full-blown trade dispute largely because Canada is an easy target and doesn’t have as many weapons to fight back. By slapping a massive tariff on Canadian lumber, while touting his protection of dairy farmers – especially in Wisconsin, a key swing state – Trump has a chance to look tough and decisive on the international stage as he tries to renegotiate NAFTA, one of his big campaign promises.

“Canada is an easy villain,” said Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center. “They cannot retaliate with the force of a China or a Mexico. It’s not like Canada is going to open up the border and let a whole bunch of Central Americans into the United States. So Canada is a pretty safe target.”

In February, Trump said that his administration would be “tweaking” NAFTA in any renegotiation, suggesting that changes would be small.

As it faces that renegotiation, Canada is unlikely to shut off energy exports to the U.S. or make any major retaliatory decisions that could have major blowback for a country of 35 million economically conjoined to its southern neighbor. “Canada is pretty much a known quantity,” Dawson said.

The Commerce Department on Monday announced a preliminary decision to hit more than $5 billion worth of softwood lumber imports from Canada with tariffs of up to 24 percent. The announcement comes on the heels of Trump continuing to hammer Canadian policies that have effectively blocked certain U.S. dairy exports north of the border.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acknowledged that there are few “legitimate” retaliatory actions Canada could take. [....]

But it isn't the US that's starting a trade war -- we are in violation of the NAFTA agreement. We agreed to lumber at its replacement value, and have never honoured that. In fact, it is up to us to decide whether this is going to be a trade-war or not by retaliating.

It's quite different with the supply-management issue in dairy and poultry. NAFTA allowed that, and who wants to buy our over-priced eggs and milk anyway? I'd be surprised if there were any takers in the USA. It isn't as if the quality of our milk and chickens is better than theirs.

The question is: should we comply with American wishes, and save our trade arrangement, or should we stand up to them and risk losing NAFTA?

If we sacrifice supply-management, we could get access for our agricultural products in the USA. Before the Milk Marketing Board came into existence, we used to make some first class cheddar, for example. We could probably do that again once we get that fat-cat cartel off the scene. And that's probably where we're at.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It isn't as if the quality of our milk and chickens is better than theirs.
Yes it is, far better.

We do not allow rBST the growth hormone. In fact , any milk w antibiotics must be dumped until the milk shows zero of it. The FDA allows some 'safe levels' .

The US is bitching because they oversupply their own market and thus fall in price. It isnt anything Canada has done, they have done it to themselves and US dairy folk admit that.

As for our cheddar, we produce some excellent cheddar and many fine award winning cheeses the country over.

Mas produced cheddar...the likes only good for crappy food is cheap in the US. .....but I wouldnt buy it. Its crap.

Do we pay more, yes. Is the quality better? Yes.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are so fulla ...

All I know comes from pouring it and drinking it. It seems the same. When I say quality, I don't mean quality as determined by the same people, our so-called health officials, that judged the off-colour tuna to be safe for us to eat back in Mulroney's time. (Remember, it ended Sinclair Stevens political career and he became a laughing stock?)

They ended up selling it for pet food.

That's not the 'quality' I am referring to. It's more quality from the consumers' point of view. I am old enough to remember how real milk went sour in the summertime if it was left out for a few hours. Now you can keep for a month, with no worried.

Do you ever worry about the possibility of some vinyl chloride 'migrating' into the milk from the plastic bags that milk now comes in -- only in Canada? But they wouldn't tell us about that, would they?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

All I know comes from pouring it and drinking it. It seems the same. When I say quality, I don't mean quality as determined by the same people, our so-called health officials,

Seems....ok I get it. It 'seems' to be the same, yet those in the know, chefs, health officials , knowledgable people 'Know' its better than the US stuff.

That's not the 'quality' I am referring to. It's more quality from the consumers' point of view. I am old enough to remember how real milk went sour in the summertime if it was left out for a few hours. Now you can keep for a month, with no worried.
Are you under the impression your view that it can last longer because....Why?
Do you ever worry about the possibility of some vinyl chloride 'migrating' into the milk from the plastic bags that milk now comes in -- only in Canada? But they wouldn't tell us about that, would they?

No. There isnt any.

And Australia, Israel,upper midwest US, Britain increasingly , Poland,...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cancel, not cancel, cancel, not cancel NAFTA: What’s Trump up to?
By Alexander Pampanetta, The Canadian Press — Apr 27 2017

WASHINGTON — First, Donald Trump threatened to rip up NAFTA. Then he didn't. This week he did again. Now, he's saying he won't. But maybe, he says, he'll change his mind again and rip it up if he can't get a good deal.

What's going on?

"A negotiating ploy," said Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute, a top U.S. expert on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"True to Trump's style. The only surprise was the quick reversal (this week)."

It's not only Trump's style.

It's basic negotiation theory. It involves the concept that negotiating clout stems from the power to walk away. That power belongs to parties who don't fear the WATNA — the acronym for Worst Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement.

And right now, it seems, some people aren't sweating about the WATNA.

For starters, there's the U.S. Congress. Trump needs Congress to move and it hasn't. It's not only slow-walking the appointment of a trade czar, but has yet to approve a notice that would allow negotiations to start in 90 days. And the clock is ticking. If there's no deal by next April, the Mexicans warn it probably can't happen next year because of their national election. Canada's stance is wait-and-see.

Trade expert Laura Dawson explains the basic challenge for the U.S. president: He wants others to feel some fear. And it's not clear anyone's palms are sweating over the risk that NAFTA talks derail, the status quo continues, and Trump's big campaign promise to renegotiate crashes into oblivion.

"The alternative to a renegotiated NAFTA has been the status quo. And the status quo is not too bad (for them)," said Dawson, the head of the Canada Institute at Washington's Wilson Center.

"Traditional negotiating theory says, 'Well, if you make that alternative much worse, by going to no agreement at all, then you might put your opponent in a more precarious position.'" [....]

Although a lot of papers have written it up as another example of Trump's craziness, he has gotten both of the other nations in NAFTA to agree to a renegotiation with this move.
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Trump attacks Canada's supply management cartels.

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