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Johanns: Closed border will send jobs to Canada

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CattleAnnie

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Of particular note (and not to get on the bashing wagon), but... Quote:

"Bill Bullard, R-CALF's chief executive officer, said signs of packing-plant construction in Canada are not a response to the border controversy"

This statement has left me wondering what on earth (if anything) Mr. Bullard knows about the effect that BSE has had on the Canadian cattle industry???

Article below. (Two more calves and that wraps up my shift for the night. Have a good day all.)

~

Johanns: Closed border will send jobs to Canada

BY ART HOVEY / Lincoln Journal Star Fri. Mar.4/05

KEARNEY —

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns warned Thursday that failure to accept Canadian cattle in the United States would result in meatpacking companies building more plants north of the border.

Johanns delivered his warning here to an audience of about 400 at the 17th annual Governor's Ag Conference. It came a day after a Montana judge issued an injunction that will keep the border closed past a Monday target date for readmitting cattle under 30 months of age.

"All of a sudden the industry is restructuring in ways that won't be changed in anybody's lifetime who's in this room," Johanns said.

Johanns' remarks add to a topsy-turvy situation that started almost two years ago with a confirmed case of mad cow disease in Canada and escalated with a confirmed case in Washington state.



In January, two more confirmed cases in Canada turned up shortly after a decision from the Bush administration to reopen the U.S. border on March 7.

Bush's right-hand man at the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday that a prolonged blockage at the border will cost the United States jobs in the meatpacking sector and could disrupt meatpacking operations in Nebraska in the short term.

Plants at West Point and Norfolk just reopened in late February after being closed for several weeks.

"Where the processing is at is where the cattle will be," Johanns said.

Johanns, who stepped down as Nebraska governor in January and then stepped into a meat-safety and trade controversy, also suggested Thursday that the United States was caught in a very inconsistent position as long as Canadian cattle are kept out.

While the United States tries to get Japan to drop a ban that could be costing Nebraska producers as much as $300 million per year, he said, the Japanese are hearing, "Oh, by the way, don't pay any attention to what we're doing to our friends in Canada."

Johanns' views were quickly disputed by R-CALF USA, or Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, which brought its case before a Montana judge Wednesday.

Speaking from Billings, Mont., later Thursday, Bill Bullard, R-CALF's chief executive officer, said signs of packing-plant construction in Canada are not a response to the border controversy.

"The fact of the matter is some packers, Tyson and Cargill, have, for many years, been transferring processing capacity outside of the United States," Bullard said.

It's about cheap labor and related cost savings, he said.

Bullard also disputed Johanns' claim that the United States is complying with international standards by treating Canada as a minimal-risk country for mad cow disease, also known as BSE, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

He said Johanns' department should consider Canada a moderate-risk country for the disease because Canada won't meet the required eight-year enforcement of a ban on feeding beef bone tissue and other body parts to cattle until August, Bullard said, citing international rules.

Stepping forward in a highly charged atmosphere, Gov. Dave Heineman tried to add some levity to his introduction of Johanns as a noon luncheon speaker.

He pointed out that a Kearney television station was carrying the Johanns speech live.

"That means they're going to pre-empt ‘All My Children' for the secretary of agriculture," Heineman said.

Johanns was quick to try to contain any political damage.

"For all of you out in TV land, if I pre-empted your favorite show, I really am sorry about that."

Reach Art Hovey at 523-4949 or at [email protected]

~
Take care.
 

Mike

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"Johanns: Closed border will send jobs to Canada"

So is Johanns now spokesman for the US Dept of Labor?

Poor guy, I bet he fully understands why Ann Veneman didn't let the door hit her in the a$$ on the way out. By not acknowledging that BSE could possibly be a "food safety" issue for some was a huge mistake for the USDA.
 

Sandhusker

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I'd really like to know what those jobs really contribute to the local economies. The packing plants in Nebraska are largely staffed by Mexican nationals. They send millions back to reletives in Mexico (dollars that do not help the economy). Many of these workers are good people, but a good share of them are not as violent crimes and drug arrests in packing plant communities are much, much greater post plant. The larger population also necessitates more government services, strains schools, etc... Bottom line is that a packing plant's contribution to a local economy is much different than a manufacturing plant's. It would be interesting to know the whole picture.
 

mlsfarms

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Very good point Sandhusker. Ever try to get into Canada if you have any type of criminal record? Even truckers who plan to enter and leave have some real issues in that regard. The old Buszcszcszchhh Whacker is pulling out all the stops to get the border opened. Even to the point of a veto of any action of the Congress. Does this guy have a clue?!?!?!?
 

Les

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OH NO Sandhusker the towns will get larger. Do you want the towns to die off? You want to live in the 1930`s all your life?
 

Les

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mlsfarms....You cant get in to the states from canada if you have a record either.But what does that have to do with packing houses???
 

SMS

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Speaking from Billings, Mont., later Thursday, Bill Bullard, R-CALF's chief executive officer, said signs of packing-plant construction in Canada are not a response to the border controversy.

"The fact of the matter is some packers, Tyson and Cargill, have, for many years, been transferring processing capacity outside of the United States," Bullard said.

It's about cheap labor and related cost savings, he said.



Cheap Labor :???:
In discussion's with the organizer's of Ranchers Own Meat Processing, which i am a share holder of, is going to be paying around $15/hr starting wage. Also the only reason that this plant is being built it to take control of our industry back, because of the the border being closed. I am sorry, but the more i hear this Bullard fellow the more i think he should be on the short bus to the special school than speaking for you guys. If this is the best you have to offer, then I have lost all respect for the US cattlemen as honorable gentlemen and resonable people. Sorry but thats just how i feel after reading this BS.
 

Kato

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Has Mr. Bullard ever actually crossed the border? Or spoken to a real live Canadian? Sometimes it makes you wonder ..... :roll:

We live near a small town that had a hog processing plant move in. Yes, the crime rate did go up, but that levelled off and settled right down within a year or two, when the workforce stabilized. It's a business with a very high turnover in employees when a new plant starts up, mainly due to those employees discovering what a hard dirty job it is. After a year or two, it settled in with the people who are planning on sticking around and things started to improved for our town.

Any talk of that plant leaving now sends the town council into a panic. They have also gone out of their way to welcome a new beef processing plant that will process 50,000 head a year. If having a slaughter plant in town wasn't beneficial, I sure can't see them looking for a second one!

If you guys don't want them, we're glad to have the jobs here. :lol:
 

Sandhusker

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Kato said:
Has Mr. Bullard ever actually crossed the border? Or spoken to a real live Canadian? Sometimes it makes you wonder ..... :roll:

We live near a small town that had a hog processing plant move in. Yes, the crime rate did go up, but that levelled off and settled right down within a year or two, when the workforce stabilized. It's a business with a very high turnover in employees when a new plant starts up, mainly due to those employees discovering what a hard dirty job it is. After a year or two, it settled in with the people who are planning on sticking around and things started to improved for our town.

Any talk of that plant leaving now sends the town council into a panic. They have also gone out of their way to welcome a new beef processing plant that will process 50,000 head a year. If having a slaughter plant in town wasn't beneficial, I sure can't see them looking for a second one!

If you guys don't want them, we're glad to have the jobs here. :lol:

What country are those workers from? That is what makes the difference.
 

Bull Burger

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Sandhusker said:
What country are those workers from? That is what makes the difference.


Sandhusker, last plant I was at in eastern NE had 90% Mexican folks working in it. Most had been there 3 years, owned homes in the area, paid taxes, had families and planned on staying there.



.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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Sandhusker - better be careful about your snipes at nationality. If you bear any resemblance to your avitar, we might be left guessing as to what your ancestry is.
 

Kato

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Most are Canadian, but there is another very large plant in Brandon Manitoba that uses workers from Canada, some from Mexico, and some from Africa.

They have noticed NO difference in the crime rate there.
 

Sandhusker

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Guys, I'm not just shooting from the hip when I'm talking about the Mexican workers situation at the packing plants in Nebraska. Crime did go up, services were taxed, and millions of dollars bypass the local economy and go straight to Mexico. That's simply the way it is. I'm not making any statements on the overall effect or numbers as I don't know what that is - the positive may very well exceed the negetive. I was simply pointing out that a business hiring largely migrant workers from Mexico does NOT equate with a business hiring locals and does NOT have the same effect on the local economy.
 

Shep

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:wink Darn right packing jobs are gonna go to Canada! When this industry gets tooled up with more capacity and we start testing every head for BSE (like Japan wants) with our national ID tag program that is in place and working (like Japan wants), I wonder who will be the ones playing catch up?
Tyson is all ready shutting down plants in northern states because it can buy all the cheap beef it wants north of the border and send it south in a box. How much of a health problem is that R-Calf? We've been exporting south since August of 2003 and will exceed exported beef volumes to the United States recorded in 2002 pre-BSE. THink about that.
 

Mike

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My CPA was explaining an issue regarding the many Mexican workers and Social Security taxes that I hadn't thought of:
He explained that many workers who come across the border illegally want to got to work immediately and not wait on the system for an SS card. So they go and get a fake one and go to work. The company they hire on to don't care one way or another if the card is fake or not, so hire them on.
The money deducted from their check every month by the employer is then sent to the Social Security office, is found out to be bogus, and is kept in the system never to be allocated to the payer. The employer then gets a check back from the SS Admin for the portion he contributed to the employees SS.
The worker will NEVER get a benefit and the employer gets his money back. My CPA then explained that this is the reason that these people can cross the border so easily. Free money for the guvment AND the employer with a boost in the economy from spending. Far fetched?
 
A

Anonymous

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I always have to laugh at the double standard of those who bitch about low wages for Hispanic packer employees and then bitch about not getting more money for their fat cattle.

DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY THINK PACKERS CAN PAY MORE FOR THE CATTLE IF THEY PAY MORE FOR LABOR????

DUH!!!!!!!!

I'm thankful that hispanics are willing to do much of the physical labor in this country that others are unwilling to do particularly working in meat processing.


Typical contradicting packer victim statements!


~SH~
 

Tam

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Sandhusker said:
Guys, I'm not just shooting from the hip when I'm talking about the Mexican workers situation at the packing plants in Nebraska. Crime did go up, services were taxed, and millions of dollars bypass the local economy and go straight to Mexico. That's simply the way it is. I'm not making any statements on the overall effect or numbers as I don't know what that is - the positive may very well exceed the negetive. I was simply pointing out that a business hiring largely migrant workers from Mexico does NOT equate with a business hiring locals and does NOT have the same effect on the local economy.

Sandhusker if those plants close do you think that the Mexicans are just going to disappear? They are in the US to work and they are going to stay there. If they are not working in the slaughter plants they will get a job as a box boy at the grocery store or a shelf stocker at the local Walmart maybe even a janitor in your bank but they will not be going back to Mexico. They will be taking any other job they have to, to keep a roof over their head and food in their stomachs, all those other things they must do to survive. You make it sound as if these people don't eat and they sleep in cardbroad boxes and they don't have vehicles that burn gas and need tires. And if they don't have a vehilce how do they get around take a bus that should keep the bus lines happy. These people whether you like it or not add alot to your economy. They add value to a raw product that makes millions for the US economy. Yes they may send money back to their families in Mexico but they also have to survive in the US. and to do that they need things like houseing, food, clothing, transportation, and yes even entertainment. How could that not help your economy.

Yes these workers send back money to Mexico but is that any different then all the frozen US citizens flying to CANCUN for a winter vacation or HayMaker and his buddies jumping down across the border to be entertained by the Senoritas and tequila. I hear that Mexico is the place to be for most Spring breakers. That money is not staying in the US economy either. Is it any different than some big time Japanese excutive flying back to Japan to visit family and friends and bringing back a load of gifts for his family. That money could have been spent in the US buying gift but it wasn't was it? Every time you buy something, take note of where it was imported from and you will see that the Mexican slaughter plant workers are not the only ones sending US money out of the country.

It is like Toby Keiths song says "What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico" along with the money that it took to do it. :p
 

Les

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I think where the workers come from is secondary,the important thing is we are going to get our beef in a box and on it way to somewhere.That is the thing thats is really going to help our economy. :D
 

frenchie

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mlsfarms said:
Very good point Sandhusker. Ever try to get into Canada if you have any type of criminal record? Even truckers who plan to enter and leave have some real issues in that regard. The old Buszcszcszchhh Whacker is pulling out all the stops to get the border opened. Even to the point of a veto of any action of the Congress. Does this guy have a clue?!?!?!?


Ever try to get into the U.S with a criminal record :?:
 

CattleAnnie

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Slow night in the pens. Here's a news article somewhat along the lines of this post's title.

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Open Canada to U.S. beef Salazar must follow Allard's example with Japan



Tribune Opinion
March 1, 2005

Comments (15) Print Email

U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard is to be commended for his letter to the Japanese ambassador last week demanding that the Japanese government reopen its market to U.S. beef products.

Allard was joined by almost 20 other senators in the letter that was hand-delivered to Ambassador Ryozo Kato by Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, who expressed his appreciation to Allard in taking the initiative to address the issue.

In his letter, Allard -- a Republican from Loveland and Colorado's senior senator -- noted that since the only confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) in the United States, the U.S. government has worked diligently to take the necessary steps to earn the confidence of the Japanese public, in many respects exceeding internationally established scientific requirements. Yet the Japanese government has continued to drag its collective feet in reopening the border.

Allard hinted, rather strongly, that Congress could be forced to take retaliatory actions on Japanese imports -- which exceed $118 billion annually -- while expressing hope that step would not have to be taken.

Colorado's freshman senator, Ken Salazar, was one of the others who signed the letter.

But at the same time, Salazar has joined eight other Democratic senators who signed a resolution of disapproval of the USDA's proposal to reopen the Canadian border to imports into the United States of live cattle starting this month. Salazar cited safety and accountability as key concerns on that move.

Salazar should reconsider that position.

The Canadian border is already open. Boxes of Canadian beef -- beef from the same cattle that are currently being stopped at the border -- are flowing into the United States, resulting in a tidy profit for Canadian processors. If science says that beef is safe, then so are the cattle which are producing it.

Economists have estimated that in the first four months the border was open to Canadian beef, Weld County lost about $100 million from diminished economic activity due to the declining production levels at the Greeley beef-packing plant of Swift & Co. alone. That does not include Fort Morgan's Cargill plant.

So keeping the border closed to live cattle is contributing to the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to Canada, which continues to expand its processing industry to handle all its cattle, while the U.S. beef-processing industry shrinks -- running about 10 percent below pre-ban averages. The jobs moving to Canada are not likely to return.

Industry officials have determined that re-opening the border will not flood the U.S. market because the Canadian market is relatively current. Those Canadian processors have been running six days a week around the clock to process their cattle, then sell the beef in the United States or in markets where they compete with U.S. beef.

During his campaign, Salazar said he intended to put his constituents ahead of party politics. Yet in this case, he sides with primarily Democratic legislators against the Bush administration.

This position, being pushed by senators without major beef-processing plants, puts Salazar at odds with the best interests of his constituents and his own state. He needs to put science and the people who helped send him to Washington ahead of politics.

We urge the new senator to follow Allard's lead with the Japanese and call for the U.S. border to be opened to live Canadian cattle.

~

Take care.
 

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