President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Feb. 13, 2017.
Alex Wong—Getty Images
By Aric Jenkins
April 20, 2017

President Trump criticized the trade polices of Canada on Thursday, blasting measures the country took to protect several of its industries which Trump said hurts U.S. farm workers.

“What they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace,” the president said, reading from handwritten notes during an Oval Office memorandum signing. Trump took issue in particular with Canadian measures that he said put farmers out of business in Wisconsin and New York.

“We can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers,” the president said, adding that U.S. lumber, timber and energy industries have been harmed by Canadian policy, as well.

Trump ultimately pegged the blame on the North American Free Trade Agreement , calling it a “disaster” for the country. His remarks echoed comments he made Tuesday in Wisconsin vowing to address the “very unfair things” that Canada has done to U.S. dairy farmers.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired back in response to Trump’s comments Thursday. “The U.S. has a $400 million dairy surplus with Canada so it’s not Canada that’s the challenge here,” he told Bloomberg. “Let’s not pretend we’re in a global free market when it comes to agriculture.”

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