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SASH

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U.S. reaffirms commitment to reopen border to Canadian cattle




WASHINGTON, Mar 01, 2005 (The Canadian Press via COMTEX) -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns reaffirmed his commitment Tuesday to reopen the border to Canadian cattle next week.

Appearing before the House of Representatives agriculture committee, Johanns said U.S. officials have confidence in the mad cow safety measures Canada has implemented. "It is critical that we continue to use science as a basis for our decisions and regulations," he said in prepared remarks.

"We are confident that trade can be resumed with countries where (mad cow) has been discovered, contingent upon strong protections within those countries."

Last week, U.S. officials gave Canada good marks on adhering to feed ban rules intended to stop the spread of mad cow or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

A final report on possible links between the last two mad cow cases is pending but won't affect next Monday's deadline to resume trade.

Canadians will be carefully watching a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Montana, part of a legal challenge to dropping the ban launched by R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America.

Chuck Kiker, represented the group at the hearing, saying the U.S. Agriculture Department is risking a major hit to consumer confidence and the "potential disaster" of a collapsed beef market.

But Jim McAdams, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said his group's surveys suggest consumer confidence in beef is at record levels.

"We still have several concerns regarding this rule (to resume trade) but we are pleased that many of our concerns have been addressed."

The group is concerned that the Canadian border will open before the U.S. resumes trade with Japan and other Asian countries that stopped taking American beef products after the first mad cow case in Canada in May 2003.

Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte said he hasn't been swayed by arguments from those "who would use this situtation to create non-tariff trade barriers.

"I resist the notion that we should link opening the Canadian border to our access to Asian markets," said Goodlatte.

Any delay with Canada would give them a pretext for keeping American products out, he said.

But ranking Democrat Collin Peterson complained that no one knows yet the full story behind the the last cow to contract the disease. It was born after new feed rules went into effect in August 1997.

"Why not take a little more time to try to find out why the feed ban failed," he said. "This is one fine mess in which we find ourselves."

Carl Kuehne, president of American Foods Group in Green Bay, Wis., said thousands of U.S. processing jobs will be lost if the cattle trade doesn't resume.

Canada has been devastated by the beef ban, with a cost to the industry of some $7 billion Cdn.

Some beef products have been crossing the border since September 2003, but not cattle.

Next Monday, trade will resume in cows under 30 months of age, thought to be at lowest risk for contracting the disease.

A decision on trade in older cattle and products from older cows is still likely months away.
 

rancher

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Your count down just stopped didn't it Sash!
 

SASH

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Guess I'll have to start back at two weeks again tomorrow. I almost have to admire that judge. I expect that going against Congress could be a very risky thing to do.
 

rancher

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You a honest person to admit you almost admire the judge.
 
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SASH said:
Guess I'll have to start back at two weeks again tomorrow. I almost have to admire that judge. I expect that going against Congress could be a very risky thing to do.

Sounds like 2 weeks to set up a schedule for hearings- then decide on whether it should go to a full blown trial....

Judge doesn't care about Congress- they are appointed for life- US Federal Judges are the closest thing to God there is, in the power they have....
 

SASH

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If I was that judge, I would be more concerned with a sudden IRS audit or possibly a congressional review of some of his past decisions. That sort of thing. Nothing that might hurt in the long run but I imagine the government could make him very uncomfortable. The other thing is that if his reasoning is not sound, he could be facing lawsuits from AMI or Canadian Cattle Producers. I've seen guys like this try to flex their muscles against the big boys before and they usually end up getting ground under somebody's boot heel.
 

Mike

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SASH said:
If I was that judge, I would be more concerned with a sudden IRS audit or possibly a congressional review of some of his past decisions. That sort of thing. Nothing that might hurt in the long run but I imagine the government could make him very uncomfortable. The other thing is that if his reasoning is not sound, he could be facing lawsuits from AMI or Canadian Cattle Producers. I've seen guys like this try to flex their muscles against the big boys before and they usually end up getting ground under somebody's boot heel.

About the worst thing you could do to a federal judge is impeach him. That would be a trick too. Be hard to sue a federal judge. Like OT said he's next to GOD.
 

Sandhusker

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SASH said:
If I was that judge, I would be more concerned with a sudden IRS audit or possibly a congressional review of some of his past decisions. That sort of thing. Nothing that might hurt in the long run but I imagine the government could make him very uncomfortable. The other thing is that if his reasoning is not sound, he could be facing lawsuits from AMI or Canadian Cattle Producers. I've seen guys like this try to flex their muscles against the big boys before and they usually end up getting ground under somebody's boot heel.

I don't think the Judge has a stake in this game. His job is to keep the constitution in his back pocket and call 'em as he see's 'em.
 
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Mike said:
SASH said:
If I was that judge, I would be more concerned with a sudden IRS audit or possibly a congressional review of some of his past decisions. That sort of thing. Nothing that might hurt in the long run but I imagine the government could make him very uncomfortable. The other thing is that if his reasoning is not sound, he could be facing lawsuits from AMI or Canadian Cattle Producers. I've seen guys like this try to flex their muscles against the big boys before and they usually end up getting ground under somebody's boot heel.

About the worst thing you could do to a federal judge is impeach him. That would be a trick too. Be hard to sue a federal judge. Like OT said he's next to GOD.

In fact the judiciary is exempt from most suit actions and the judge would have to be proven guilty of a crime or mentally incompetent to be impeached.... Neither will happen......

My take on this is that I'll bet a lot of Congressmen are happy and breathing a sigh of relief -- don't have to take a stand or any action- court has taken it out of their hands for now......That way they don't look anti-administration or anti free trade, but can still reassure their folks back home that the issue is being handled.......
 

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