Secretary Perdue Comments on Canada Dairy Issue

While traveling to Canada last week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and his Canadian counterpart spoke in unison supporting trade. Perdue visited the farm of Canada’s Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Friday. Speaking with reporters after the event, Perdue discussed Canada’s Dairy Supply Management System, targeted by the U.S. dairy industry as a priority to address through the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation. Perdue told reports that it was not the United States’ place to tell Canada it could not have a supply management system. However, he said Canada’s system cannot result in oversupply of some products on the global market that depresses prices, according to Reuters. MacAulay said the two were not ready to signal what changes might be included in NAFTA or supply management “because that’s the job for the people at the table.” But, as leadership of Canada and the U.S. continue a back-and-forth trade spat, the president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture said of Perdue and MacAulay: “They might be the two people who can help find common ground.”