Country of Origin Labeling was passed by Congress in 2002 and it’s still under attack by the multinational meat packers and allied agribusinesses. Learn more about the law, who is behind trying to take away your right to know where your food comes from – and what you can do about it.
We learned Friday that U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH, has signed onto a letter to federal trade officials asking for currency manipulation protections in U.S. trade negotiations such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Ohio Farmers Union and National Farmers Union are supporters of the Coalition for a Prosperous America a coalition of manufacturing, agricultural, worker, consumer and citizen interests working at the grassroots to reshape U.S. trade policy that is based on roughly balanced trade among nations without surrendering sovereignty, damaging the environment or compromising food safety. CPA has been working to gain Portman’s and other federal legislators’ support for measures to reduce currency manipulation by other countries. Ohio Farmers Union past-President Joe Logan serves on the CPA Board of Directors Executive Committee. John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union is also a member of the CPA board.
Currency manipulation is an important component of turning around the U.S. negative trade balance. Nations like China and Japan purposefully lower the value of their national currencies making products produced in their countries essentially discounted on world markets versus those manufactured in the United States. Ending currency manipulation around the world will not cure the U.S. trade problem on its own, but it is a reversible competitive disadvantage for U.S. manufacturers and farmers that can be solved if Congress and the Obama Administration were to make it a priority.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed free trade agreement among among the United States, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. It would cover nearly all goods and services sectors. The Peterson Economic Institute lists Japan, Malaysia and Singapore as nations currently manipulating their currencies from the TPP partners.
Coalition policies center on fair trade and tax reform
On a sunny day in Dayton, Ohio two weeks ago an unlikely assembly of farmers, labor leaders, local politicians, former Reagan Administration officials, academics and business owners came together to discuss what ails the American economic system and what can be done about it.
Organized by the Coalition for a Prosperous America, the event was one of several regional meetings held across Ohio in the past couple of months. Drawing its support from a support network of manufacturers, labor and agricultural organizations, CPA describes its mission as working for a new and positive U.S. trade policy that delivers prosperity and security to American citizens, farms, factories and working people. CPA views the U.S. trade deficit as an economic headwind, holding U.S. industry and agriculture back while allowing emerging economies to grow on the backs of displaced American workers and shuttered factories and farms.
In August alone, the U.S. trade deficit was nearly $29 billion. Agricultural products are as much a part of the issue as the manufactured goods consumers hear so much about in the media. According to CPA, the U.S. is now a net importer of these products as well.