U.S. President Donald Trump launched his hardest rebuke of Canada since taking office on Thursday, blasting the country for "taking advantage" of American workers and promising future trade reforms.
"That also includes what's happening along our northern border states with Canada having to do with lumber and timber".
US prominence in the steel industry has been slipping for decades, and Mr. Trump is making some efforts to shore up the industry.
Trump said this week he would make "some very big changes" to the NAFTA treaty with Canada and Mexico or "we are going to get rid of NAFTA for once and for all".
Speaking in Kenosha, the president specifically mentioned Canada's dairy supply management system, which he called "one-sided" and one which doesn't let USA farmers compete fairly. But Canadians lowered prices on this side of the border to remain competitive, in the process shutting out American sellers of the same dairy product.
Canada has marketing boards that decide how much milk, poultry and eggs will be sold each year in Canada, then sets a minimum price while keeping foreign dairy products out because that would "screw this whole system up", the Toronto-based National Post newspaper reported in an story on price fixing last fall.
Schumer said Friday morning that he spoke with Trump about the matter Thursday, and that the two men will join with Ryan to tackle the Canadian dairy trade issue.
She says dismantling the current supply management system would be a boon to all concerned - even though there might be some short-term pain for some in the sector, who she says, could be compensated for any losses deemed a direct outcome the new economic reality.
On energy, Canada provides the US more than one-third of its oil imports - and does so under a stable, locked-in ratio guaranteed in NAFTA.
"Dairy is a very small part of the total trade with Canada, there's an bad lot more that happens even within agriculture than just dairy", said Mark Stephenson, director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
But they do represent a marked departure from Trump's warm words for Canada after he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Washington in February.
President Donald Trump continues to characterize NAFTA as a "complete and total disaster" for the United States. "A protracted dispute will only drive up the cost of wood and homes for USA consumers", Freeland said. He said Thursday that steel is critical to the U.S.
Canada's ambassador to Washington fired back, saying the facts don't support a charge that the Canadian dairy industry is to blame for the woes of some American farmers.
Despite Trump's promises to find a "solution" to the dispute, Stephenson said dairy farmers aren't holding their breath.
"I do feel our country right now...really gets that this is a critical moment", Freeland said.
"It (the US administration) either doesn't know or has forgotten what happened in 1930 when the USA became isolationist with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff which put up tariff barriers greatly".
But, she said she feels that Ottawa has a "strong Team Canada approach" to the situation and "that is serving us well".