For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, President Donald Trump has a bad habit of offending U.S. allies while attempting to play nice with our enemies such as Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Today, the focus of his ire was on Canada which he blamed for a trade dispute that he claims is harming American dairy farmers.
‘What they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace.’
This isn’t the first time this week that Trump has attacked Canada over trade issues. During a visit to Wisconsin on Tuesday he said, “in Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers.” He then promised to “start working on that.”
‘What’s happened to you is very, very unfair. It’s another typical one-sided deal against the U.S. and it’s not going to be happening for long.’
Trump made those comments in reference to a recent import tax that Canada placed on ultra-filtered milk which is used the process of making cheese. Until recently, it was duty-free, but Canadian farmers complained about U.S. imports so Parliament began taxing the milk.
It’s rather ironic that Trump has called such a deal “unfair” since tariffs were a cornerstone of his platform. He frequently promised to impose heavy tariffs on Chinese goods. However, if another country imposes a tax on American products it is suddenly “very unfair.” Perhaps this will make Trump realize that free trade does benefit the U.S. It is certainly not perfect and there are ways to improve our trade agreements, but Trump’s stance is overly simple and hypocritical. He can’t both attack free trade and complain about another country placing import taxes on American products.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out against Trump’s comments saying that the tax was imposed for a good reason.
‘The U.S. has a $400 million dairy surplus with Canada so it’s not Canada that’s the challenge here. Let’s not pretend we’re in a global free market when it comes to agriculture.’
Trump has used this issue as a jumping off point to discuss his plans for changing NAFTA. At a recent meeting with the press, Trump said that he would begin looking into ways that NAFTA could be changed.
‘We’ll be reporting back some time over the next two weeks as to NAFTA and what we’re going to do about it.’
For more information, you can listen to Trump’s comments regarding the dairy market, below.
Featured image via Getty Images.