New York dairy farmers say the Canadians are killing their business.
NewsChannel 34’s Morgan Wright spoke with Congresswoman Claudia Tenney who says new Canadian rules are hurting New York dairy farmers, driving down prices, and putting many on the brink of failure.
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney says New York dairy farmers lost nearly $58 million in 2017 – a result from Canada’s revision of its milk classification system.
“As we renegotiate NAFTA, we have to take this into play,” said Tenney.
In a letter to US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, Congresswoman Tenney calls for the elimination of Canada’s Class 7 pricing program.
The program changed the price of Canadian milk protein, which is one ingredient of milk, because they had so much they couldn’t sell it.
That made milk protein so inexpensive US farmers can’t compete with Canadian prices.
“They are selling skim milk powders on the world market below the cost of production,” said Michael Dykes, President & CEO, International Dairy Foods Association.
“We estimated that over five years the United States is going to lose a billion dollars,” said Tenney.
Dykes says Canada has created a market disruption for US dairy farmers.
“We have skim milk powders that we need to sell in the world market – and now we’re competing with a country – Canada which has traditionally not been a competitor,” said Dykes.
The International Dairy Foods Association wants a level playing field.
Congresswoman Tenney says a NAFTA negotiation over the milk products could fix the problem.