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AMI Joins Diverse Coalition in Urging Congress to Consider Impact Climate Change Legislation Will Have on Nation's Food Supply

Friday, June 26, 2009

(American Meat Institute)

AMI has joined a diverse coalition of food, feed and beverage associations in urging Congress to consider and prioritize the impact proposed climate change legislation will have on the nation’s food security.

Legislative approaches must be carefully crafted not only to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also to avoid adverse impacts on food prices and food accessibility, the coalition stated in a letter to Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner.  The coalition noted that when considering the total GHG emissions from each sector, including suppliers, the food, feed and beverage sector has the fourth largest exposure to carbon costs—more than the chemical, retail, basic resources, automobile and parts sectors.

The food, feed and beverage sector is also exposed to significant trade pressure, the letter states.  Yet, to date, Congress has not accounted for these disproportionate impacts on a sector that provides indispensable goods to American families.  The coalition proposes that a cap-and-trade will work best if allowances are distributed proportionately to each industry’s emissions, thereby mitigating the direct and indirect impacts on all regulated industries.

“A fair distribution of allowances would allocate an appropriate percentage of allowances to the food, feed and beverage sector. It would also avoid the impression that the allowances represent subsidies to favored industries—an accusation that could subject the United States to World Trade Organization disputes and American companies to retaliatory tariffs.  We cannot demonstrate international leadership by approving greenhouse gas legislation that undermines our international credibility on trade liberalization,” the letter states.

In addition, the coalition says that H.R. 2454 could impact domestic food prices which would fall most heavily on the poorest 20 percent of Americans who spend roughly one-third of their after-tax income on food.  The coalition requests that Members not support passage of H.R. 2454 in its current form as it fails to address many concerns of the coalition.

 To view this letter in its entirety, click here: www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/51178

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