Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) is defending Canada's supply management system after it was targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday during a rally in Wisconsin.
Trump blamed current NAFTA trade rules, specifically Canadian dairy regulations, for the hardships currently being faced by U.S. dairy farmers.
DFM Chair David Wiens, who's also a dairy farmer in the Grunthal area, had this response to hearing Trump's comments.
"The reality is that we do not impact the dairy situation in the U.S. or around the world," he said. "We know that there's an oversupply of milk in the U.S. and other jurisdictions in the world and it's created some depressed pricing for them. We produce milk for the domestic market and so we don't impact on the milk supply in the U.S., nor internationally."
Wiens isn't taking Trump's comments lightly, adding he has faith that the Canadian government will defend the current system.
"We have confidence that the Canadian government will continue to defend the Canadian dairy industry," he said. "We know that over the years our government's been involved in the development of trade agreements with various countries around the world and they've always been able to achieve agreements that are good for Canada and as well, we are able to maintain our strong system of supply management for dairy and other commodities."
As a fellow dairy farmer, Wiens says he sympathizes with his fellow producers south of the border.
"I can certainly understand the difficulties that they're facing in other countries," he said. "In fact, one of the things about supply management, it helps to prevent that situation from happening here in Canada. We supply milk for our domestic market and so we produce according to the demand in this country so that we do not contribute to problems elsewhere in the world."
He notes the comments made by Trump are not founded on fact, adding it's not right to lay the blame on Canada.