Premier's statement supporting the Island dairy industry
The following is a statement from Premier Wade MacLauchlan in support of Prince Edward Island dairy farmers and producers.
Prince Edward Island has benefitted from NAFTA and trade – through the creation of jobs for Islanders and strong Island businesses. We are a trading province. Our world-class products can be found around the world, and the resulting sales mean more money flows back to our Island to be invested in our communities.
In light of the ongoing talks and negotiations, it must be made clear that a new NAFTA should not come at the expense of our Island farmers. Our Island dairy farmers – of which there are 165 – are successful, competitive, and hard-working. They have made significant investments in their herds and operations in communities throughout our province.
We recognize that the Island dairy sector is concerned about ongoing discussions regarding trade and supply management. Our government will to continue to support our dairy sector and the supply management system.
Island dairy farmers are not responsible for the rhetoric of Donald Trump. Much of the talk we hear is more about politics than economics. The United States enjoys a significant balance of trade advantage in dairy sales, by a margin of more than 5-to-1. The real issue is American overproduction, which is subsidized by the U.S. government.
We have been in touch with Island dairy farmers and processors and will continue to work closely with them as the NAFTA discussions evolve. I have been on dairy farms and processing operations throughout the province and am always impressed by the quality, investment, and innovation in what are farming businesses in rural communities throughout our province.
In discussions with the federal government and officials we will make it clear that Island dairy farmers must not be bullied – and that as a province we stand with them.