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R-CALF comments on NAFTA

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SASH

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Cattle Alert: R-Calf Statement Regarding NAFTA Chapter 11



(Billings, Mont.) – The following statement should be attributed to R-CALF USA President and Founder Leo McDonnell:



“It is unfortunate that a frank discussion of the failures of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will not be part of the summit tomorrow between the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States.



“For example, the Chapter 11 provisions of NAFTA – which grant foreign corporations and producers greater rights than U.S. citizens at special international tribunals – must be rewritten, both in NAFTA and in future trade agreements such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).



“Right now, the Canadian Cattlemen for Fair Trade (CCFT) are using NAFTA’s Chapter 11 to try to place pressure on the United States’ independent judicial system by claiming they are due up to $1 billion Canadian dollars in compensation. Rather than taking steps to solve their problems with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or “mad cow disease”, this Canadian business group is demanding to be paid for the closure of the U.S.-Canadian border to live cattle exports into the United States.



“The Canadian border remains closed because on March 2nd, U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull decided that there are significant health and safety dangers from BSE. In his formal opinion, Judge Cebull wrote: ‘Allowing the import of Canadian cattle into the U.S. increases the potential for human exposure to material containing the agent for BSE in this higher-risk meat. This has substantial, irreparable consequences for cattle growers and also for all consumers of beef in or from the U.S.’



“R-CALF USA believes the border should remain closed until the Canadians initiate higher safety standards and a more comprehensive testing regime to ensure public health. Why should foreign entities like CCFT be allowed to use an international tribunal of NAFTA to pressure our courts to undermine the health and safety standards of the U.S. consumers?



“Oddly enough, CCFT’s claim has been lodged against the very U.S. government that is trying to open the border to Canadian cattle and beef.



“We understand that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and R-CALF USA are on opposing sides of the Canadian border issue. However, we believe a greater principle is at stake here. The U.S. government should recognize and acknowledge the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government, and stand up for the independence of the U.S. judicial system by opposing the NAFTA Chapter 11 case brought by this group of Canadian cattlemen.



“Foreign entities should not have the ability to attack U.S. standards. Trade agreements like NAFTA should be a force for progress and a force for raising health and safety standards, rather than abused as a tool to lower those standards.



“We urge President Bush to work with his foreign counterparts to correct the inadequacies of Chapter 11 in NAFTA before those who seek to manipulate the rule do real harm to U.S. citizens.



“Chapter 11 is one of the many reasons that NAFTA is a poor model for future trade agreements such as CAFTA. R-CALF USA will continue to oppose CAFTA until that agreement can be renegotiated.”
 

Tam

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don't you love the part where he said ]“Foreign entities should not have the ability to attack U.S. standards. Can I ask why R-CALF can attack ours? We have proven ours are higher with a proveable compliance rate. I think Leo should take a look at the High US standards and the compliance to the rules again.
 
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Tam said:
don't you love the part where he said ]“Foreign entities should not have the ability to attack U.S. standards. Can I ask why R-CALF can attack ours? We have proven ours are higher with a proveable compliance rate. I think Leo should take a look at the High US standards and the compliance to the rules again.


Tam- It may be hard for Canada to get any NAFTA or WTO violation ruling, when Canada set the precedence in NAFTA for keeping cattle out under the guise of health restrictions... Canadas required testing was also a disputed science issue-- And it didn't involve human health issues- just livestock issues....Much more serious now when we are talking consumer health- and the rules set by Europe and the rest of the world has been much stricter than the rules Canada now wants to play by.......

Canada should have reduced their own BSE rules and import rules BEFORE they got BSE to make them credible.....
 

cowsense

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Oldtimer- I find it quite puzzling when you repeatedly state that the science on BSE flipflops around. It's not American, Canadian, Japanese or European science but rather the recommendations put forth by the OIE for all countries to follow. This science is formed and reviewed by working panels of veterinary experts and is endorsed by 167 countries worldwide including the US. The working protocols address the subject of food safety and international trade and have remained very consistent. Canada if anything is exceeding these regulations in every way ( proven by international inspections) despite your protests to the contrary!

The very existence of these recommendations is to discourage the use of nontariff trade barriers and to depoliticize trade issues!
 
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cowsense said:
Oldtimer- I find it quite puzzling when you repeatedly state that the science on BSE flipflops around. It's not American, Canadian, Japanese or European science but rather the recommendations put forth by the OIE for all countries to follow. This science is formed and reviewed by working panels of veterinary experts and is endorsed by 167 countries worldwide including the US. The working protocols address the subject of food safety and international trade and have remained very consistent. Canada if anything is exceeding these regulations in every way ( proven by international inspections) despite your protests to the contrary!

The very existence of these recommendations is to discourage the use of nontariff trade barriers and to depoliticize trade issues!


You are correct about OIE cowsense-- and OIE has not changed their classifications that would make Canada a "minimal risk" country-- It has been proposed and the USDA is pushing for the World Organization to change their classifications-BUT it has not been done yet....

What Canada and USDA are asking for is no different than having a car wreck today and then going out and buying the insurance to cover it tomorrow..........
 

cowsense

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OT... The only part of the OIE guidelines that Canada (and the US) is not in compliance with for minimal risk designation is the start of the 97 feed ban. HOWEVER the OIE definately states that the 8 year rule can be waived if a proper risk analyses is conducted. The Harvard Risk Assessment was carried out and confirmed our eligibility as a minimal risk country. This has since been confirmed by USDA/APHIS and NCBA as well as many other of our trading partners.
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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OT,


You should really sit down and give your head a damn shake. Do you not realize there could be a huge BSE outbreak lurking in some part of the USA? How would you deal with this? If a lot of packing plants got lured out of US into Canada and then you had a few BSE cases. What would you do? And to top this off you get your slaughterplant access cut off when Canada closes the border. And there was to be free trade under NAFTA. And some [email protected] group was keeping the border closed so they could keep their pockets full. Wouldnt you be a tad upset? If feedlots were loosing millions and going broke, wouldnt you want to sue the Canadian government? Get real!
 
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Manitoba_Rancher said:
OT,


You should really sit down and give your head a damn shake. Do you not realize there could be a huge BSE outbreak lurking in some part of the USA? How would you deal with this? If a lot of packing plants got lured out of US into Canada and then you had a few BSE cases. What would you do? And to top this off you get your slaughterplant access cut off when Canada closes the border. And there was to be free trade under NAFTA. And some [email protected] group was keeping the border closed so they could keep their pockets full. Wouldnt you be a tad upset? If feedlots were loosing millions and going broke, wouldnt you want to sue the Canadian government? Get real!

So what you are saying is that if the shoe was on the other foot, the puritan peoples of Canada would spread wide their arms and unrestrictually open the border? BULL FEATHERS-- Your 10 years of Anaplas and Blue tongue science, which just happened to all have overnight changed when the Canadians were trying to get the border reopened, have proven Canadians play NAFTA for the buck too......
 
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Anonymous

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cowsense said:
OT... The only part of the OIE guidelines that Canada (and the US) is not in compliance with for minimal risk designation is the start of the 97 feed ban. HOWEVER the OIE definately states that the 8 year rule can be waived if a proper risk analyses is conducted. The Harvard Risk Assessment was carried out and confirmed our eligibility as a minimal risk country. This has since been confirmed by USDA/APHIS and NCBA as well as many other of our trading partners.

But OIE has not officially adopted any of the new classifications-- They have been proposed but not voted on and accepted by the member countries of the world........
 
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Anonymous

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Manitoba_Rancher said:
OT,

I think the water in Montana must be bad as your loosing your mind! :?


Well MR- Then explain to me the new miraculous science discoveries that came about to make CFIA and CCA to drop the Anaplas and Blue tongue restrictions? Just when Canada was trying to get the border reopened...Looks like "political and economical science" to me- the whole rule was there to give the Canadian producer an edge....
 

cowsense

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OT- Hat & MR have degenerated this into a name calling contest. I'm gonna go check cows. Might pick this thread up with you again. There's more ground to cover :!:
 

SMS

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Oldtimer So what you are saying is that if the shoe was on the other foot said:
The relaxing of the testing requirements for Ana and BT have happening over the last 10 years. In the late 90's, there was the north west feeders project which has now evolved into the current regulations. Any bull that I bought in Montana only needed one BT and Ana. test. This is the same requirement that is required to take a bull from montana to Denver Stock show in 2001 and 02. I know this cause i took some from here down there, as well as a bull that i bought in Montana in the fall. All required BT, TB and ANA tests. Nothing changes over night in politics and trade agreements. We are both old enough to know this...lol
 
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SMS said:
Oldtimer Nothing changes over night in politics and trade agreements. We are both old enough to know this...lol[/quote said:
I agree SMS-The question I hear down here quite often is what would Canadian producers be doing right now if the whole BSE situation had been reversed...I wonder if they would be taking our boxed beef and asking us to prove that our cattle are not a threat to their herd or their industry? From the Anaplas- Blue tongue history they would be doing the same thing the US producers are doing right now.......
 

Bill

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Oldtimer said:
SMS said:
Oldtimer Nothing changes over night in politics and trade agreements. We are both old enough to know this...lol[/quote said:
I agree SMS-The question I hear down here quite often is what would Canadian producers be doing right now if the whole BSE situation had been reversed...I wonder if they would be taking our boxed beef and asking us to prove that our cattle are not a threat to their herd or their industry? From the Anaplas- Blue tongue history they would be doing the same thing the US producers are doing right now.......

Does Montana require animals coming from any other states into Montana to be tested for Bluetongue or Anaplas?
 

SMS

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OT, in hind sight i would hope that we would make our decision's based on science, but whats politics and big money get envoled, who know's.

In 1999, when RCalf used NAFTA to impose a duty/tariff on Canadian Cattle, I asked Leo what was really behind this. His response was that he didn't feel it was right that the US feeders had to pay more for Canadian Barley than I did, he blamed the CWB for that. I tried to explain basis to him, but didnt want to accept that as a reason. Also he brought up the BT and ANA testing, but couldnt give me an example how it hurt him moneywise. He just wanted it to be cancelled. It may have hurt some of his patrons that had bulls in his test station at the time, especially the ones from oklahoma. In fact at that time i was one of those patrons, that had bull at Midlands, but the exchange rate took all the profit.

The last thing I have to comment on tonight here is. In 1999 when NAFTA worked for Rcalf it was great, now that some CDN ranchers are using it in reverse it is the worst thing created. GO FIGURE... :roll:
 

cdncowboy

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“Foreign entities should not have the ability to attack U.S. standards. Trade agreements like NAFTA should be a force for progress and a force for raising health and safety standards, rather than abused as a tool to lower those standards. "

By that statement should Canada not also be able to set its own standards and policies. Yet US Farm groups continually are attacking our Canadian Wheat Board, using NAFTA, WTO even after losing every challenge brought forth. The exception, oddly enough was the duty imposed by the US courts. But I guess we are just lowly Canadians and should due as we are told by our US counterparts.
Its to bad in the "global economy" all of us can't be on a level playing field that allows us to make a decent living.
 

Sandhusker

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Tam said:
don't you love the part where he said ]“Foreign entities should not have the ability to attack U.S. standards. Can I ask why R-CALF can attack ours? We have proven ours are higher with a proveable compliance rate. I think Leo should take a look at the High US standards and the compliance to the rules again.

R-CALF is not trying to get money out of you....
 
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Anonymous

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Bill said:
Oldtimer said:
SMS said:
Oldtimer Nothing changes over night in politics and trade agreements. We are both old enough to know this...lol[/quote said:
I agree SMS-The question I hear down here quite often is what would Canadian producers be doing right now if the whole BSE situation had been reversed...I wonder if they would be taking our boxed beef and asking us to prove that our cattle are not a threat to their herd or their industry? From the Anaplas- Blue tongue history they would be doing the same thing the US producers are doing right now.......

Does Montana require animals coming from any other states into Montana to be tested for Bluetongue or Anaplas?

Bill- Not that I'm aware of-- Only import requirements concern coming from Brucellosis areas or Mexican and corriente (rodeo) stock coming in-- this is mainly because of TB... I don't know of any specific Bluetongue or Anaplas requirements- altho all cattle coming into the state need a health inspection......
 
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