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NCBA misses the mark AGAIN

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HAY MAKER

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NCBA misses the mark AGAIN with its liberal position supporting harmful
trade agreements. NCBA's hypocrisy knows no bounds.



1). U.S. beef, poultry, deli meats, canned and frozen meat products and
most seafood products are currently BANNED in Costa Rica.



2). Most Central American nations have STRICT country of origin food
labeling laws. These lesser developed nations accomplish labeling at
little cost. Why does NCBA continue to support liberalized trade but will
NOT support U.S. cattlemen's right to differentiating their product in the
retail case here in America? Under NCBA's plan NONE of the foreign meat
imported under CAFTA would be labeled as to country of origin and U.S.
producers would be forced to compete without a label. NCBA defends its
opposition to U.S. cattlemen by holding tight to the claim that it dislikes
government intervention in the industry...unless, of course, we speak of the
government speech tax on U.S. cattle.



3). Average wages in Central American nations vary from $2 per day to $8
per day. Even with a 40% reduction in tariffs, the general population in
Central America will NOT be able to afford U.S. beef. Many live without
refrigeration or running water. Most are concerned with mere survival
rather than buying a U.S. steak.



4). Does CAFTA put into place equitable wages and labor protections for the
work force in Central America? NO IT DOES NOT. The Central American people
will be ripe for the exploitation plucking of global interests seeking the
trade renewal relief's offered under CAFTA. This liberal trade agreement
sets an attractive stage for global investors to move into these lesser
developed countries. American jobs will be OUTSOURCED under CAFTA. Why is
the outsourcing of American meat packing plant jobs to Canada such a concern
for NCBA when the amplified outsourcing of American jobs under CAFTA is not
a matter for concern? The answer should be obvious.



5). Central American countries are NOT considered tourism Mecca's. The
political upheaval there translates to armed soldiers and guards protecting
many public facilities. American tourists are "targets". Many major hotels
do not offer transportation to and from airports because these marked
vehicles draw attacks. Does this sound like a holiday vacation to anyone?
The future expansion of the tourist industry in Central America is never
quantified by NCBA; rather, the organization uses faith-based statements
like "expect", "potential", "probable" which are empty promises. The
tourism industry in Central America is concentrated along the ocean
coastlines. Inside the CAFTA nations, the general population lives in some
of the worst poverty in the world.



6). Why isn't NCBA concerned about Central America's low cost of cattle and
beef production and how U.S. producers cannot compete? Input costs for
vaccines and wormers are a fraction of those incurred by U.S. producers -
for the same products from the same manufacturers. Feed and forage are
abundant and labor is cheap, cheap, cheap. Cattle are calved on green
grass. In fact, the cattle can stay on green grass 12 months out of the
year.



7). Trans-shipment of cattle is already occurring. Central American feeder
cattle are being shipped into the U.S. via Mexico - DUTY FREE. These cattle
are transformed into beef which is sold to American consumers under the
guise of the USDA grade stamp of approval. There is no country of origin
label so U.S. consumers have no information with which to make purchasing
choices. Consequently, U.S. consumers are continually subjected to meat of
unidentified origin.



8). Contrary to what NCBA would have you believe, CAFTA is DEFINITELY NOT
an "excellent blueprint" for future trade treaties. Think NAFTA, folks. It
was the original "blueprint". CAFTA is a poorly negotiated liberal trade
agreement that sells Americans and American sovereignty down the river
without a paddle. CAFTA puts the decision-making power into the hands of
international tribunals and emasculates our political governance system and
our courts. We will be defenseless in the shadow of CAFTA and defeating the
Free Trade Agreement of the Americas will be that much more difficult.



9). Why in the world isn't NCBA working towards constructive trade
agreements that nurture and encourage economies in lesser developed nations
rather than treaties that set the stage for global investors to swoop in and
pillage the labor force and the land? If we insist on trade agreements that
do so, we will build economies that DO OFFER a marketplace for American
products.



10). Many U.S. export markets would be open today had organizations like
NCBA supported voluntary BSE testing by meatpackers who wanted to do so.
Blame for the prolonged closure of Asian export markets to U.S. producers
can be squarely aimed at NCBA and USDA for their success in preventing
independent meat packers from voluntarily testing for BSE. CAFTA is no
substitute for regaining lost export markets.



CAFTA is wrong for America. Let's hope that the U.S. House of
Representatives still has some shred of conscience left and that it defeats
this miserable trade agreement under which few will benefit but many will
suffer. If this is "isolationist" we should all wear that label willingly
and proudly. Call your congressmen today and tell them to flush CAFTA down
the commode and hire some trade negotiators who aren't hamstrung by
globalists. While you're at it, tell them the liberals at NCBA don't speak
for you.
 

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