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AMI Washington Examiner Op-Ed: What is USDA Thinking?

Monday, November 8, 2010

(American Meat Institute)

“The meat and poultry industry is the largest sector of the American agricultural economy, employing more than six million workers and generating a total economic output of more than $830 billion.  The meat and poultry industry is fuel for our nation’s economic engine.  So what is USDA thinking?” asks AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle in a Washington Examiner guest editorial on the proposed USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) livestock procurement rule.

If the rule moves forward, Boyle notes that nearly 105,000 jobs will be lost, along with $14 billion in overall economic activity generated by the meat and poultry industry.  Federal and state taxes generated by the meat and poultry industry will decrease by $80 billion. 

In addition, according to the new economic analysis by John Dunham and Associates on behalf AMI, meat and poultry prices will increase by 3.3% and cost Americans $2.7 billion in higher prices.

“Turning back the clock on the meat and poultry industry does not come without costs and definitely will not repopulate rural America,” Boyle writes. “A new economic impact analysis of the proposed rule shows that it will do the exact opposite.”

“Congress charged USDA with writing a very specific rule, and in the past few weeks, nearly 150 Members of Congress have expressed their concerns to USDA.  Clearly, USDA has gone well beyond congressional intent by proposing restrictive marketing requirements and new enforcement standards that were considered and rejected by Congress and eight separate federal appellate courts,” Boyle writes.

“It doesn’t take an economist to see that this country is in tough economic straits.  In a time of economic uncertainty, where real jobs are on the line and unemployment is an unfortunate reality, reformulating the business model of one of our nation’s largest and most successful industries makes no sense. The rule needs to be withdrawn and USDA needs to do just what Congress asked it to do,” Boyle concludes.

To view the editorial in its entirety, click here: http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/64088

To view the new economic impact study, click here: http://www.meatfuelsamerica.com/GIPSA/

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