“Obama’s Orders: Kill Nafta; Hurt Mexico”
Has President Obama been caught in another “white” lie? Obama Target of the lie: Hispanics and the country most have heritage from, Mexico?
In the 2008 campaign Presidential candidate Barack Obama had Austan Goolsbee (Professor, University of Chicago who had served as his top economic advisor since Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign) approach the Canadian Counsel in Chicago with a startling proposition; to wit:
Goolsbee met with this official to pass on a message that Obama would not rejigger, revamp or actually reopen negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that had so benefited Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Huge increases in trade and jobs (President Clinton alone claimed 20,000,000 jobs in its first 6 years) in all three countries despite constant harping by American labor unions. Goolsby told the official, this is just campaign talk. Obama would not do anything to change or harm NAFTA. Goolsby was exiled from the campaign.
Wall Street Journal (April 24, 2009):
“Recall that last year the Obama economic adviser had told a Canadian diplomat to ignore Mr. Obama’s Nafta campaign rhetoric; the candidate was merely pandering to Big Labor. When that disclosure became news, Mr. Goolsbee was banished to the campaign’s isolation ward….Now we know Mr. Goolsbee — not the candidate — was the one telling the truth.”
When faced with the Mexican President and the Canadian Premier at a meeting in Mexico, Obama publically backed down and told all that he would not attempt to renegotiate NAFTA or to fool with it in any manner. It looks like Obama lied again.
President Obama’s appointees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have concocted a regulation requiring “country of origin” labeling of all meats sold in the U.S. with specific labels stating country of origin even if the meats are blended in processing.
The labels would have to denote place of birth, where raised and fed and place of slaughter.
Obama tried this in 2009; Canada and Mexico objected with formal filings against the administration in the World Trade Organization (WTO). They succeeded in having the WTO set aside the regulation as onerous.
The Obama Administration claims the new rule “provides more information and that ensuring the accuracy of food labels is a critical aim.” NAFTA and the free exchange of product across both borders are the targets of Obama’s appointees in the Agriculture Department. Hidden in the rule is a protectionist AFL/CIO inspired creation of a Pro-USA meat production.
Ranchers and processors in Canada and Mexico declare that the proposed Obama policy demeans the value of their product.
Example: Brat sausages manufactured along the Canadian border might use meats from both countries. The Label would have to state where a percentage of beef was born (Canada, the U.S. and Mexico) then taken to the U.S. for fattening up, then processed in the US; the same would apply to any pork in the Brat. The label might have 20 or 30 words in it that by itself would not cost much but the accounting/documentation of each step in the meat’s existence from birth to processing might cost in excess of $200 million dollars. Meat packers in the United States — especially near the northern and southern borders — say it would drastically and expensively change how they do business.
Another example: Beef in California and Arizona is born in those states, raised in both states until a certain point then taken to feeding pens in Mexicali, Mexico for fattening, then returned to the U.S. for slaughter and processing. How much will it cost to document this beef?
Meat packers in all three countries are quick to point out that currently, pigs and cattle are purchased from all three countries and then kept in the same area before they’re slaughtered — a “co-mingling” process that Obama’s new policy would ban.
Segregation of animals in feeding, slaughter and processing could cost millions; who would pay these extra millions? Meat eaters, of course.
This “Buy American” ploy by Obama political appointees might please their union sponsors but it devalues the NAFTA agreement and takes direct aim at border meatpacking processors and ranchers and farmers in all three countries.
We are back, then, to 2008 rhetoric of doing something about NAFTA. The unions have never let up on trying to destroy NAFTA and to destroy the jobs it has created in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Ross Perot and his heavy duty racist Halloween Coalition consisting of Jesse Jackson, Pat Buchanan and the AFL/CIO screamed about a “Giant Sucking Sound” of American jobs being stolen by Mexico; that never occurred.
Studies have concluded that while 50,000-jobs-a-year disappeared in the first ten years of NAFTA those losses need to be compared to the 20,000,000 (million) jobs created between January 1, 1994 and January 19, 2001 that President Clinton claimed.
Nonetheless, NAFTA, Mexico and Canada are still Obama bull’s-eyes, “country of origin labels” are just one more arrow in his quiver, a below the radar arrow.