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AMI Urges Senators to Oppose Restrictive Trade Provision in Stimulus Package; Launches Grassroots Campaign

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

(American Meat Institute)

In a letter sent yesterday as the U.S. Senate began considering the stimulus package, AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle expressed AMI’s strong opposition to the “Buy American” provision within the legislation, noting that this trade restrictive provision could potentially undermine the ability of American meat and poultry companies and workers to export products fabricated in the U.S. and thereby undercut the goals of this package.

 “As a member of the World Trade Organization, the U.S. has agreed to several bilateral and regional trade agreements that have expanded access between the U.S. and some of our largest trading partners,” Boyle said. “The U.S. has preserved many safeguards in our procurement rules for American goods and firms, including ‘Buy American’ provisions for some projects, as well as small-business preferences. If the U.S. Congress expands or enacts new ‘Buy American’ provisions that violate U.S. trade agreement commitments, U.S. industries outside the scope of the stimulus package will face retaliatory actions that will jeopardize our ability to expand global markets.”

Boyle noted that in many areas of food production, such as livestock and meat, the U.S. has integrated supply chains that help support competitiveness in international markets. Not only would “Buy American” regulations disrupt the North American supply chain integration, it would likely spark a protectionist backlash in the export markets on which the profitability of AMI member companies depend.

 “At a time when American exports are one of the few bright spots of the U.S. economy and markets are weakening overseas, the U.S. Congress should be taking actions to promote U.S. exports, not undermine them,” Boyle added.

 To view this letter in its entirety, click here: www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/46076

 In addition to this letter to Senate members, AMI is also launching a grassroots campaign to strip the “Buy American” provision from the stimulus package legislation. AMI members are urged to contact their Senator in opposition to this provision. AMI members may send an electronic letter to their Senators by clicking here: http://capwiz.com/ami/issues/alert/?alertid=12576811.

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