Vive Le Canada

Judge's ruling on Canada-U.S. border creates trade policy war
Date: Monday, April 11 2005
Topic: International News

I am tired of this going back and forth, both sides trying to lay blame on everything but the real reason. Who is to blame? Who allowed the feed in the first place?
Health Canada Didn't Heed Mad Cow Warning From its Own Scientists

Judge's ruling on Canada-U.S. border creates trade policy war

By SHANNON BURKDOLL, The Prairie Star editor

Friday, April 8, 2005 1:42 PM CDT

BILLINGS, Mont. - U.S. District Judge Richard E. Cebull's March 2 ruling to keep the Canada-U.S. border closed to live cattle imports has created a controversial war on trade policy.

Cebull granted R-CALF USA's request for a preliminary injunction against opening the border to live cattle trade with Canada. The ruling prevented the March 7 border opening as scheduled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

R-CALF USA president Leo McDonnell said the national organization filed the request claiming the USDA planned to open the border before having enough scientific proof the Canadian cattle and feed ban are of minimum risk. "The ruling and Senate's vote prove that USDA's final rule needs to be revisited while the border remains closed," he said. "USDA should not place the health and welfare of both the U.S. cattle herd and U.S. consumers at risk, as we believe the agency does with its final rule. R-CALF USA also believes the final rules may well threaten U.S. beef exports. If the U.S lowers our safety protocols on beef imports, it will negatively impact our export markets. We can't afford to have the final rule undermine our ability to resume beef exports to markets in Asia."

The Canadian said the ruling in which Cebull concluded R-CALF USA had "demonstrated the numerous procedural and substantive shortcomings of the USDA's decision to allow importation of Canadian cattle and beef," was issued in "record time."

"I was very disappointed in the ruling," said Stan Eby, Canadian Cattlemen's Association president. "It wasted all the effort that went into the USDA's rulemaking process. We were very disappointed. Cattle have been moving back and forth between our countries for centuries."

Cebull's ruling did more than upset Canadian producers and affiliates, it also upset their market. Eby said the Canadian cattle prices dropped to 15 cents per pound for feeder cattle. "It's done extreme damage to the economy of our industry," he said.

Eby said he didn't understand how R-CALF USA could be so against the opening of the border after he had read a report claiming some R-CALF USA members owned cattle in Canada.

McDonnell said the report was grossly misleading and inaccurate. "It's unfortunate that the Washington-based columnist failed to check his facts and sources," he said of the March 15 article attacking R-CALF USA's member actions and Japan's trade talks. "It is unfortunate that there are those in the media who start such false rumors, but it seems like this 'BEEF Enquirer' type of reporting has become acceptable in some circles."

Soon after Cebull ruled in favor of R-CALF USA, the U.S. Senate approved a resolution disproving the USDA's rules regarding the border opening and re-establishing beef trade with Canada. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a similar resolution this week.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association said it supports Cebull's ruling because it bought time for the organization to see that it's 11 points of trade criteria, which include reopening U.S. export markets to beef trade, not allowing Canadian beef products to be marked with USDA grade stamps, harmonization of animal health standards banning intact heifers and assuring the nation's export markets won't be jeopardized by resuming trade with Canada, are met.

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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