Revenge of the comment section: Can I get a loan for a brick of cheese?

U.S. President Donald Trump denounced Canadian dairy regulations last week in a speech taking aim at NAFTA trade rules. Trump said the supply management system in Canada unfairly affects U.S. dairy producers and called the arrangement a “one-sided deal.” Many CBC commenters agreed that supply management should be done away with in favour of lower prices for consumers. 

Calling the bluff

This is a classic negotiating tactic. You publicize the worst case scenario, make it sound like you’re uninterested in keeping the deal, then negotiate giving a few things to the other party to make them happy. Canada has to play the same game to be successful, and I think despite the fact we’re up against a shrewd dealer, we’re making the right choices. We’ve got one of the original NAFTA negotiators back at the table and have publicly discussed Canada’s concerns with the same agreement. Time to call Trump’s bluff.

– Aaron Watson

Eating his cake

Trump needs to decide if he wants America to be part of the world trading system. If not, let the U.S. put up its trade walls and see how the American economy will tank. He wants to have his cake and eat it too.

– Daniel Hicks

What’s best for Canada

Time to look abroad towards Europe, Asia, and even Russia to diversify our trade. No need to make a big deal about it, and we shouldn’t approach it like Trump. Leave arrogance aside and just do what is best for Canada!

– George Duquette

Cheese is too expensive

While I don’t like Trump, I’m certainly tired of (non-rectangular) cheese costing 400 per cent more because of the protection of the industry.

– James Smith

Free trade means competition

I can’t believe I am saying this, but Trump is right about our dairy industry. If NAFTA is about free trade or freer trade, then there’s no reason why the Canadian market is not open to U.S. dairies, providing they meet our food safety and labelling requirements.

After half a century of monopolies and high prices, wouldn’t you think it’s about time for our dairy industry to face some competition and stand on its own two feet? Canadian taxpayers are sick of subsidizing this industry through higher prices!

– Rex Yuan

Give us American prices

I’d love to see the price of cheese, milk and other dairy products drop to the same price as they are in America. Can’t afford it here.

– Bob Macdonald

Sometimes it takes a Trump card…

I have grown up in the farming industry and have worked on farms firsthand since I was young boy. I have watched how the dairy industry and the farming industry has destroyed hundreds of small family farms over the years. I have spoken against it my whole life and now finally someone is saying something. Sometimes it takes a Trump card to get people talking.

Sure you all get your dairy products in the store, but most of you have no idea how it got there. Let me tell you, it’s not a pretty sight. I have seen hundreds of litres of milk go down the drain because of dairy laws. I have seen hard working farmers go under because they cant keep up with the corporate farming demands. Milk does not come from your friendly neighbourhood farm anymore. It comes from cow factories milking over 200 cows in one place. You don’t believe me? Go visit some old-school farmers and ask them what they think. I may not be 100 per cent right on with what I wrote, but one thing I believe is that the Canadian Dairy Board is very, very unfair. No doubt in my mind.

– ​Joshua Wayne

Other exports

Does this rhetoric about “buying American” mean that electricity and natural gas from Canada will be targeted?

– Paul Beesly

A loan for a brick of cheese

I have little sympathy for the coddled dairy farmers in this country. One has to practically take out a loan to buy a brick of cheese. Having said this, I have no interest whatsoever in consuming American milk with bovine growth hormone in it.

David Novak

We need our own wall

Trump probably doesn’t see the irony that he touts buy American and then attacks Canada for protecting its own businesses. We need a wall of our own, please. With all the deregulation going on down there, who knows what will show up in their food and drink now.

– Arthur Wellesley

Battle of rhetoric

I think we’ve seen that Trump says a lot of things, but that his words often don’t match the actions of his government. Canada and the U.S. have a rather balanced trade relationship which is advantageous to both countries. Hopefully his various cabinet secretaries and negotiators are able to figure that out. In the meantime, we shouldn’t get involved in a battle of rhetoric with the U.S.

– Robert McPharson

Comments have been edited for length and clarity.