Wisconsin Farmers Would Hurt From Canadian Dairy Import Reduction
By Steve Roisum
Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 4:51pm
Wisconsin dairy producers stand to lose money if Canada follows through on plans to bar some American exports from entering the country.
The Badger State sends about fifteen percent of its dairy-related exports to our neighbor to the north. But Canada wants to scale back some of the products it accepts from the United States, including ingredients that go into cheese.
Mark Stephenson is director of the Center for Dairy Profitability in Wisconsin. He says milk is more expensive in Canada, making products such as whey and cheese costlier too. Stephenson says Canada is looking out for its own farmers: "The only way to protect that kind of high price of milk is to have barriers that do keep dairy products from outside Canada from coming in. If they came in in any great volume, then that price is threatened."
Canada's plans haven't gone unnoticed on Capitol Hill. Western Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind says dairy exporters are being treated unfairly: "They just want the consistent market with stable prices so they know what to plan for, rather than of this roller coaster ride they've been on from year to year. "
Kind and several other members of congress have sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, expressing concern over Canada's intentions.
Calls to several Canadian Trade organizations for this story were not returned.