Donald Trump continued to escalate his war of words with Canada today, less than 24 hours after he attacked Canada’s dairy industry during a speech to factory workers in Wisconsin.
Trump’s latest comments regarding Canada came as he signed a memorandum calling for an investigation into the importing of foreign steel into the US.
Appearing to go off script from his prepared statement, the president expanded his assault to take in Canada’s dairy, lumber and energy industries:
“I wasn’t going to do this, but I was in Wisconsin the other day, and I want to end and add by saying that Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace,” he said.
“I spent time with some of the farmers in Wisconsin, and, as you know, rules, regulations, different things have changed. And our farmers in Wisconsin and New York State are being put out of business, our dairy farmers. And that also includes what’s happening along our northern border states with Canada, having to do with lumber and timber.”
“We can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers,” he continued. “And again, I want to also just mention, included in there is lumber, timber, and energy. So we’re going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly. Again, just to tell you, this is another NAFTA disaster, and we’re not going to let it continue onward.”
Discussing jobs, the economy & what we’re doing to help the middle class in Canada. Good talk with Bloomberg’s John Micklethwait today. pic.twitter.com/knCvx0YUWj
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 20, 2017
Speaking at an event in Toronto today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to Trump’s latest attacks.
“Let’s not pretend that we’re in a global free market when it comes to agriculture,” he told Bloomberg News editor in chief John Micklethwait.
“Every country protects for good reason its agricultural industries. We have a supply management system that works very well here in Canada. The Americans and other countries choose to subsidize to the tunes of hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, their agriculture industries, including their dairy,” Trudeau continued.
“Different countries have different approaches, and we’re going to engage in a thoughtful, fact-based conversation on how to move forward in a way that both protects our consumers and our agricultural producers,” he said.