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HAY MAKER

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Editorial: Cattle Industry Counters Bogus CAFTA Claims Average reader rating: 0

Today 6/28/2005 3:23:00 PM


Editorial: Cattle Industry Counters Bogus CAFTA Claims



“This week, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the U.S. Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). We members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the oldest and largest national association representing the cattle industry, are urging our fellow cattlemen from across the nation to separate myth from reality when it comes to CAFTA.

“I’m downright stunned by some of the allegations being made within our industry about this straightforward trade agreement. The details are not a mystery. It’s a lucrative deal promising growth of new export markets for U.S. beef in six nations. Creating a flurry of fabrications about CAFTA does nothing but scare people away from the superior benefits gained from being productive players in our global economy.



“NCBA must set the record straight. Here is our response to the myths being spread about CAFTA.



Bogus Claim #1: ‘CAFTA would allow foreign beef to flood into our country and means we give these countries complete market access!’



FACTS:



-Right now, beef products from these nations are already coming in freely, without tariffs. In fact, beef exports from these countries are subject to a tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 64,805 metric tons (mt), and this quota has never been filled.



-These are not big beef-producing nations, and their imports have never been threatening to U.S. beef. What IS a threat are the extremely high tariffs slapped on our beef exports to enter these nations. CAFTA corrects this imbalance.



-The small amount of U.S. beef imports from these CAFTA countries is primarily lean beef, not the high-quality grain-fed beef for which United States cattlemen are famous.



Bogus Claim #2: ‘CAFTA sets a dangerous precedent and bad blueprint for future trade agreements with South America.’



FACTS:



-CAFTA sets an excellent precedent. All duties go to zero by the end of the agreement’s implementation period, the chief necessity when making free trade deals with the United States.



- In fact, Trade Promotion Authority, the authority for the Administration to negotiate trade agreements and send the final package to Congress for a vote, currently outlines what the Administration should include in trade agreements, not previous agreements.



-CAFTA establishes an official mechanism to resolve disputes called the Committee on Agriculture, a great blueprint for resolving future issues between trading partners.



Bogus Claim #3: ‘CAFTA means giving up safeguards and threatening safety.’



FACTS:



-This claim could not be further from the truth. CAFTA does contain an agricultural safeguard mechanism which would protect the U.S. industry against excessive surges.



-Only Costa Rica and Nicaragua are allowed beef-specific safeguards on U.S. beef, but these do not cover high-quality beef and are completely eliminated after 15 years. This is trade negotiation at its finest. Our premiere selling point in these countries is top quality U.S. beef not found anywhere else. Therefore, some flexibility was temporarily made for standard quality beef to gain immediate access for prime and choice.



-CAFTA does not change safety standards. Imports from these countries are already subject to a rigorous USDA-equivalent inspection process before entering the United States.



-CAFTA requires these countries to accept the USDA-FSIS inspection system as equivalent for means of plant certification for export. Countries cannot come to the United States and inspect plant-by-plant to find a reason to shut off exports, The entire federal inspection system must be approved.



Bogus Claim #4: ‘For the individual cattle producer, CAFTA means less than 10-cent increase in value per head.’



FACTS:



-Overall U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports to CAFTA nations could TRIPLE by 2015 to $41 million from the current $12.5 million.



-This 10-cent claim assumes a NET of exports minus assumed additional imports from CAFTA. This figure is debunked by the fact that beef production has been in decline and will likely continue to decline in every CAFTA country except for Nicaragua.



-Per capita income improvement in this region lends itself toward more beef consumption in the region, not less.



-The KEY aspect of the agreement is that as these nations were preparing for a negotiation with the United States, the initial requirement was that they harmonize their Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and trading regulations among themselves.



-This means that, for the first time in many cases, these countries will now be trading beef and cattle among themselves. This suggests that there will be LESS beef available to export to the U.S., not more.



-This agreement is very much a one-sided deal benefiting U.S. cattle producers, giving increased market access for U.S. interests



Bogus Claim #5: ‘Visiting the CAFTA nations right now would be an effective way to become involved in this trade negotiation process’



FACTS:



-CAFTA has been negotiated during a long-term process and signed by all seven countries. The time to question CAFTA was before and during the negotiating process, not after the agreement was signed. The opportunity to affect the outcome for the industry has long since passed.



-That's why NCBA very closely monitored the negotiating process and those serving in trade advisory capacities were intimately involved in the process with our negotiators.



-NCBA was also keenly aware of the situation in Central America via numerous meetings and discussions with Central American beef producers before and during the long negotiating process. During these discussions, NCBA made it crystal clear that we would not accept anything less than duty free access to the Central American market by a date certain. These numerous discussions also gave us a clearer understanding of what might evolve in the Central American market for beef after the agreement goes into affect.



Bogus Claim #6: ‘Just like NAFTA, CAFTA is a bad agreement for cattle producers’




FACTS:



-Mexico is currently our largest export market for U.S. beef. NAFTA made huge strides for the U.S. beef export industry and is an exemplary agreement.



-Studies prove NAFTA has increased disposable income by over $6,000 per family and has also helped to fuel the incredible demand growth that the beef industry has enjoyed.



Bogus Claim #7: ‘CAFTA is an agreement that adds to our trade deficit with the region.’




FACTS:



-The U.S. International Trade Commission, which is required by Trade Promotion Authority to review every trade agreement, studied CAFTA-DR and found that the effect of the agreement would be to reduce the overall U.S. trade deficit by $756 million.



Bogus Claim #8: ‘People living in these CAFTA nations cannot afford U.S. beef, therefore there really is no market for our products.’



FACTS:



Opening export opportunities is how we build future markets.



Trade experts agree this region is a growth market for high quality grain-fed beef that only the United States can provide to hotels and upscale restaurants.



U.S. Meat Export Federation regional market analyses states that the Central and South American region, is ‘currently a market for both muscle meat and variety meat products, is a developing market for U.S. beef exports with potential for growth.’



For example, the Dominican Republic is a middle-income country whose most important sector is tourism, accounting for nearly $1.5 billion a year. It is to the tourism industries in these countries which U.S. product will be targeted following the implementation of this agreement.



“Regardless of bogus claims, the important thing for U.S. beef producers to know is that NCBA continues to be actively engaged in making sure we get the best deal possible in ANY trade agreement. We do that when the terms of the agreement are being negotiated, not after the fact.



“The long-standing history of these agreements is clear: it is greatly preferred to fix problems up front. It does no good to complain or second guess the situation after the fact.



“As a result, NCBA producer-leaders and staff, and particularly those involved in trade advisory capacities, are constantly seeking the best market information and intelligence available in order to help our negotiators get the best deal possible for U.S. beef producers in the numerous agreements currently being negotiated. Such efforts are critically important as they also set the precedent for all future agreements, no matter how big or small."



“This agreement is first and foremost about reducing foreign tariffs and opening Central American markets to U.S. products. It’s an excellent deal for U.S. cattle producers and NCBA will continue to urge for passage in Congress this summer.”





Source: John Queen, NCBA vice president and North Carolina cattle producer

FACT PACKERS ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT BENEFITS FROM CAFTA,AT THE EXPENSE OF THE NORTH AMERICAN CATTLE MAN................GOOD LUCK
 

TimH

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Haymaker- "FACT PACKERS ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT BENEFITS FROM CAFTA,AT THE EXPENSE OF THE NORTH AMERICAN CATTLE MAN................GOOD LUCK"


Did you really MEAN to type "NORTH AMERICAN CATTLE MAN" ???? :shock: :shock:

Just curious. :)
 

HAY MAKER

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TimH said:
Haymaker- "FACT PACKERS ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT BENEFITS FROM CAFTA,AT THE EXPENSE OF THE NORTH AMERICAN CATTLE MAN................GOOD LUCK"


Did you really MEAN to type "NORTH AMERICAN CATTLE MAN" ???? :shock: :shock:

Just curious. :)

Yes this includes Canada,I believe Canada has as much at stake as the United States,and its about time you canuckle heads helped in this packer fight...................good luck
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Haymaker if R-CALF wants help in this "PACKER FIGHT" why are they fighting to keep the border closed and the Canadian producers held hostage to the big two american packers?
 
A

Anonymous

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These are not big beef-producing nations, and their imports have never been threatening to U.S. beef.

----------------------------------------------

They aren't today-- But what the packer backers (NCBA) and the big corporations won't tell you is that their are no stopgaps in place to keep Tyson and Cargill from building new large plants in Central America next year- importing all the cheap cheap South American cattle they want into these cheap cheap labor plants- slaughtering the beef and sending it thru CAFTA and NAFTA all over North America and slapping a USDA stamp on it and passing it off as a US product...

Now do you see why the packers are spending millions to fight M-COOL :? :???: :cry: :mad:
 

HAY MAKER

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Big Muddy rancher said:
Haymaker if R-CALF wants help in this "PACKER FIGHT" why are they fighting to keep the border closed and the Canadian producers held hostage to the big two american packers?

These are two completely different issuses BMR,one is concerning the border and the health of the cattle industry,and the other is about the cafta scam and packer greed. Once again, the border is a health/safety issuse when we can understand BSE and get some fair players in the usda,that will work for the good of the people and health,instead of packer cover ups/scams etc.then you will see some positive progress,as it stands right now packers have no interest in finding a cure for BSE,its to good of a tool to manipulate markets...............good luck
 

Big Muddy rancher

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HAY MAKER said:
Big Muddy rancher said:
Haymaker if R-CALF wants help in this "PACKER FIGHT" why are they fighting to keep the border closed and the Canadian producers held hostage to the big two american packers?

These are two completely different issuses BMR,one is concerning the border and the health of the cattle industry,and the other is about the cafta scam and packer greed. Once again, the border is a health/safety issuse when we can understand BSE and get some fair players in the usda,that will work for the good of the people and health,instead of packer cover ups/scams etc.then you will see some positive progress,as it stands right now packers have no interest in finding a cure for BSE,its to good of a tool to manipulate markets...............good luck


Your saying that BSE is being used to manipulate markets? Yes by Packers maybe and R-CALF for sure. We have BSE you have BSE if you guys would quit dragging you feet and catch up to Canada this cattle industry could move ahead but you old Texas boys are to slow to react to consumer wants. You keep yelling "REMEMBER THE ALAMO" but don't want to move on and catch up with the real progessive cattle men of the rest of the world.
 
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Big Muddy rancher said:
You keep yelling "REMEMBER THE ALAMO" but don't want to move on and catch up with the real progessive cattle men of the rest of the world.

If being "progressive cattle men" means lie, cheat, and do anything for the almighty dollar like the packers, NCBA and USDA have been promoting- well then I'll stay with the Alamo days too....
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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Oldtimer said:
Big Muddy rancher said:
You keep yelling "REMEMBER THE ALAMO" but don't want to move on and catch up with the real progessive cattle men of the rest of the world.

If being "progressive cattle men" means lie, cheat, and do anything for the almighty dollar like the packers, NCBA and USDA have been promoting- well then I'll stay with the Alamo days too....

OT, you forgot to mention one group in your bad boys list . . . 3 guesses and the first 2 don't count. . .

Give up? O.K. here's a clue OT,


GO LOOK IN THE MIRROR.
 
A

Anonymous

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OT: "But what the packer backers (NCBA) and the big corporations won't tell you is that their are no stopgaps in place to keep Tyson and Cargill from building new large plants in Central America next year- importing all the cheap cheap South American cattle they want into these cheap cheap labor plants- slaughtering the beef and sending it thru CAFTA and NAFTA all over North America and slapping a USDA stamp on it and passing it off as a US product..."

OT, once again you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

The countries in the Central American Free Trade Agreement do not have tarriffs now and they have never met their Tarriff Rate Quota.



~SH~
 
A

Anonymous

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~SH~ said:
OT: "But what the packer backers (NCBA) and the big corporations won't tell you is that their are no stopgaps in place to keep Tyson and Cargill from building new large plants in Central America next year- importing all the cheap cheap South American cattle they want into these cheap cheap labor plants- slaughtering the beef and sending it thru CAFTA and NAFTA all over North America and slapping a USDA stamp on it and passing it off as a US product..."

OT, once again you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

The countries in the Central American Free Trade Agreement do not have tarriffs now and they have never met their Tarriff Rate Quota.



~SH~

You are right SH- but they also don't have a free trade agreement in place "guaranteeing" unlimited access- Yet- Packers are smart enough to wait until the agreement is in place and irrevocable before they invest more and take the chance of upsetting the home folk....If CAFTA passes you have your first mainline right to cheap South American boxed beef slaughtered in cheap labor manned Cargil subsidiary owned slaughter houses.....And brought into the US and Canada with a USDA stamp on it and passed off under USDA's and NCBA's fraud as a US product to the consumers...

How many more US owned slaughter houses showed in Canada- after NAFTA was signed-- How much larger did their herds get......
 

Sandhusker

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But Agman says US multi-nationals only buy foreign plants to supply the domestic markets there :???:

Surely you are mistaken, OT. Why would the US packers invest in a country where production vastly exceeds consumption? :shock:
 

Murgen

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And brought into the US and Canada with a USDA stamp on it and passed off under USDA's and NCBA's fraud as a US product to the consumers

OT, you seem to use both the US and Canada as one entity now in your posts. Too bad RCALf would not have been more forward thinking in their business plan and maybe they could have also had members in Canada, so that we could have worked together on some of these matters.

Hell, we might have already had a producer owned plant for all of us! Too late for that now I guess, but it sure would have helped with the packer concentration Rcalf is against.
 
A

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Murgen said:
And brought into the US and Canada with a USDA stamp on it and passed off under USDA's and NCBA's fraud as a US product to the consumers

OT, you seem to use both the US and Canada as one entity now in your posts. Too bad RCALf would not have been more forward thinking in their business plan and maybe they could have also had members in Canada, so that we could have worked together on some of these matters.

Hell, we might have already had a producer owned plant for all of us! Too late for that now I guess, but it sure would have helped with the packer concentration Rcalf is against.

If you don't think CAFTA, AFTA, FTOA will effect the Canadian cattleman you are sleeping-- remember you like us, signed away much of your sovereignty with NAFTA.....
 
A

Anonymous

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OT: "If CAFTA passes you have your first mainline right to cheap South American boxed beef slaughtered in cheap labor manned Cargil subsidiary owned slaughter houses..."

That's the same import blaming crap you guys said about NAFTA. How has NAFTA hurt U.S. producers when the U.S. had a $1.3 "BILLLION" dollar trades surplus for 7 years prior to BSE in Canada and the U.S.????

The facts simply do not jive with your "sky is falling" import rhetoric!


What does Costa Rica and the Dominion Republic have to do with "SOUTH" American cattle?

You still don't know what you are talking about.

As far as the rest of your "M"COOL sales pitch, 75% of the imported beef ends up in food service where it would be exempt from labeling.

You got absolutely nothing but rhetoric again OT!


~SH~
 

fedup2

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Hi all. Its been awhile. I found an amusing article that I thought some of you would enjoy. (some maybe not! lol!) Anyway its says email to a friend so I believe I can post it. Thought it would fit in with your cafta discussion. Hope all is going well for you.

By ALAN GUEBERT
Thursday, June 23, 2005 10:14 AM CDT

After a sip of (Brazilian) orange juice and a nibble of bacon (from a market hog farrowed in Canada), U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns looked out the small window of the (Canadian-built) chartered jet to survey the Ohio farmland glistening in the June dawn far below.

"Where are we going today?" asked Johanns, shifting in his soft-as-butter (Italian) leather seat.

His aide, midway through a (Sri Lankan) cinnamon and (Mexican) blueberry muffin, gulped quickly to say, "Minnesota, sir."

"What's in Minnesota?" queried the Secretary as he scribbled a note with a (Belgium) fountain pen on a (Swedish pulpwood) napkin.


"Well, sir," replied the aide between sips of (Columbian) coffee, "it's the (Canadian) 'mad cow' seminar you planned," his voice edging towards testiness. "You're going to prove to Japan and R-CALF that Canada's cows are really American cows."

"Right," Johanns noted before turning again to the passing Ohio scenery. The aide touched the side pocket of his (Haitian-made) suit coat for the (Argentine) cigarettes and (Costa Rican) lighter he hoped it held.

"Say," stirred the Secretary noting the aide's nicotine need, "could you get me today's guest list from my (Spanish) briefcase so I can memorize the first names of who I invited?"

Before Johanns' request was complete the aide unsnapped his (made-in-India from Chinese nylon) seatbelt to scramble after the papers. Rising quickly, however, he slammed his forehead into the (Malaysian teak) headliner of the small jet. The hard jolt nearly knocked him out of his (Pakistani) socks and (English leather) shoes.

"Wow!" exclaimed the Secretary, pressing a hand over his white shirt (from the Dominican Republic) and (Japanese) silk tie to grab his heart. "Stay seated; I'll get you a (German) aspirin and some (French) bottled water."

The aide did as told; his head hadn't hurt this much since he had mixed (Dutch) beer with (Australian) wine at a (Greek) fraternity party two years ago.

"Sorry," said Johanns returning, "the Secretary of Defense used this jet yesterday, so the aspirin are gone. Lean back and rest."

The Secretary returned to his seat. A moment later he tapped the shoulder of a USDA veterinarian in front of him to ask if he knew the retail price of rib-eye steak.

The vet, an expert on African sheep diseases who was free to make the mad cow run that day, hadn't a clue. Bureaucrat that he was, though, his reply was serving and self-serving: "I'll call my wife, Mr. Secretary, for the latest price."

Two minutes later - after reaching his spouse at her job (in the Latvian embassy) on his (Norwegian-made) cell phone - he delivered the meaty intelligence: $8.15 per pound.

"Holy cow!" exclaimed the Secretary; "call J.B. immediately."

Undersecretary J.B. Penn was entertaining some (global) meatpacking executives when the red phone (from Singapore) jangled. "'Scuse me, boys, that's the boss."

Penn leaned back in his antique (Syrian) lacquered chair and hit the speaker button on the phone. "Yes, sir," he announced loudly, "whataya' can I do for you this morning?"

"J.B.," relayed the Secretary, "I've darn-near got my (Japanese) wheels down at the (Canadian) mad cow meeting and I've just learned that rib-eye is $8.15 at the Safeway. We need to do something."

Penn paused to wink at his packer buddies.

"Well, Mr. Secretary," he said slowly, "we can increase cattle imports from Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and even Nigeria. In fact, Canada is sitting on about 5 million ripe cattle as we speak."

The line was silent. "J.B.," came back the Boss, "it all will be stamped 'USDA inspected,' right?"

"Yes, sir. It will all be American - and all cheaper American - once it lands in America," Penn said.

"So importing beef isn't a safety issue over mad cow disease; it's an economic issue over mad beef prices?" suggested the Secretary.

"Yes, sir."

"So we should import beef to save the American beef consumer," Johanns said thinking out loud.

"That'll work," replied Penn.

Johanns returned to the view in his window. "What a great country," he said as he adjusted the (Chinese-made) American flag pin on his suit jacket's lapel.
 

Murgen

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I'm not saying it won't affect us, what I am saying is that it is too bad that RCALF has laid the foundation for a segregated beef industry in North America, where the hard feelings will take a long time to recover, to the point where Canadian producers could work together with a producer group such as RCALF

Just imagine what it would have been like if the border was closed by the USDA and RCALF promoted one industry, so we could have worked together on providing competetion through producer owned plants and stood together against offshore imports?
 

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