Canada's Trudeau defends dairy system after Trump blast

File pic of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the 2017 Juno awards

"My focus is on making sure that for the medium and long term, people in Toronto and across the country can afford their homes and that means working on the supply side, making sure that we're investing in more rental stock, making sure that we're investing in new construction of affordable housing so that the market can adjust itself without either popping or crashing", he said.

Minutes later came the now-familiar sight of Trump in the Oval Office, followed by a pointed attack on Canadian trade practices and the impact on US interests.

"Canada, what they've done to our dairy farm workers, is a disgrace". Trump said the United States will report in the next two weeks what it intends to do with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he has promised to renegotiate. "Rules, regulations, different things have changed". "Rules, regulations, different things have changed, and our farmers in Wisconsin and NY state are being put out of business".

Trudeau's comments come two days after Trump promised US dairy farmers he would intervene to restore exports of American milk to Canada. Trump's comments were the second time this week he has attacked Canada's dairy industry and on Thursday he included the lumber, timber and energy sectors in a list of what he said were problematic areas of trade.

The "terrible" plight of American dairy farmers has captured the attention of USA politicians of all stripes as the US sector grapples with the twin difficulties of overproduction and low global prices for milk.

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"Any conversation around that starts with recognizing the facts".

"How certain governors are speaking to certain constituencies on that, it's politics", Trudeau said.

Trudeau said while the federal government has faced calls to intervene, there's a recognition that its measures would affect the entire country and not all markets face the same challenges.

Trudeau said he was not going to "over react" and that he planned to move the trade conversation forward "in a way that both protects our consumers and our agricultural producers".

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