U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says he’s not pushing for Canada to do away with its supply management system that controls the price and supply of dairy, eggs and chicken.
Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay is hosting Perdue today at his family’s farm in Midgell, P.E.I.
President Donald Trump has said he wants the system dismantled, blasting Ottawa for charging a 270 per cent tariff on imported dairy products.
Perdue told a news conference that the two countries benefit from open markets across the border, but “we’re not here though to dictate to Canada ... to do away with its supply management system.”
He says he would like to see the system regulated in a way that does not depress world prices.
Perdue also says NAFTA has demonstrated to be good for farmers across North America, but needs some renewing and modernization.
“I appreciate the president deferring his decision over withdrawing from NAFTA, which I think would have been the wrong decision,” said Perdue.
When asked about a timeline for NAFTA negotiations, Perdue said: “The president, interestingly enough, is a unique negotiator — does not respond to deadlines that much.”