The R-CALF folks have been called many different things in most of the farm press. Let me add, “slow learners from history.”
Border-state Michigan now has the nation's highest unemployment rate due to major losses in automotive jobs. Here is why it happened:
The car people mistakenly thought “Made in the USA” would overcome all else, even union wage price cars and rust-bucket quality. Hello Toyota — COOL. And, with our big old steel mills and excess capacity car plants, a car company would not want to build a car in Mexico or Canada or Japan or Yugoslavia, would they? They did.
R-CALF, you are about to learn a history lesson. In doing so, you will go down as having destroyed part of the future of beef production in this country. What a legacy for your grandchildren. You are selling their future for a couple of short-term bucks per cwt.
CAFTA Parallels history
The Boston Tea Party was a reaction to the Tea Act of 1773 passed by Parliament to rescue the British East India Co. from impending failure. The Tea Act essentially eliminated all taxes on tea except the three-pence Townshend tax. It allowed the Company to sell American colonists tea at a lower price than that of the colonial smugglers (independent importers). As a result, the British East India Co. would be saved from bankruptcy, the colonial smugglers would be out of business, and the principle of parliamentary taxation would be upheld.
The British East India Co. lobbied the British Crown for advantageous tax and trade legislation. Modern-day versions of the multinational are lobbying Congress for similar trade advantages.
CAFTA could give multinationals that set up new businesses in other CAFTA countries a “patent” or temporary monopoly by removing import duties immediately but phasing out export duties over 17-20 years. By that time, domestic competition would be out of business.
The cheap goods we could import because of CAFTA would come at a cost. Not only would production (the source of wealth) move out of the country, but every act of Congress would be subject to review by an international arbitration tribunal that could declare laws passed by the U.S. Congress “illegal.”
Such declarations would not be appealable to a higher governmental body. Resulting rulings could not be brought to the Supreme Court. Trade penalties could be imposed until Congress changed the offending law.
CAFTA is not a trade agreement, it is an import agreement. There is no free lunch. CAFTA asks us to sell our collective soul for a few cheap imports.