Federal Conservative Associate Agriculture and Agri-Food Critic John Barlow says we can't have a trade war with our number one partner.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently threatened to match the 270 per cent tariff Canada charges on American dairy.

Barlow said Trump has made Canada's supply managed dairy sector one of his trade targets in addition to steel, aluminum, and the automotive sector.

"He's going to pick on anything that he sees as a trade irritant, but we have to stand with our Canadian workers and farmers and ranches who are going to be impacted by a trade war with the United States. We certainly want to see NAFTA come to fruition."

Barlow said a significant problem for American Dairy farmers is over-production, where they are pouring out millions of gallons of milk.

"If we opened up our borders to American dairy products, the Canadian market would be one per cent of what the Americans produce. It would be insignificant to the American market. It would not alleviate their over-production concerns. Those are things they need to deal with domestically."

With the possibility of a trade war looming, Barlow said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to get the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in action, which would give Canada access to 10 lucrative markets in the Asia-Pacific.

Barlow added there's huge opportunities for the trade of agriculture products within the country by removing inter-provincial trade barriers.

"Inter-provincial trade barriers are a $150 billion impact to Canada's economy. If we loose the United States for a prolonged trade war as our number one market, we have to look within ourselves as a substitute for that."

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