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U.S. farmers celebrate approval of free trade deals

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18 Comments
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Wow. For a Congress that couldn't agree to what color the sky is, they sure came around and quickly passed this trade agreement.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

only have 3 words to say about this: Watch 'Food Inc.'!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

America pay about $20 billion per year in direct farm subsides. Will that now end? Will we also see the imports of GM crops?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@zichi,

You could try directing that question to Minnesotan presidential candidate Michelle Bachman. She and her husband have ownership in a farm in Wisconsin that is worth a few million dollars. Coincidentally, her father in law got big time farm subsidies for years. Michelle and Marcus can claim that they don't directly get subsidies because they are not farmers, but they are at least partial owners of the farm so it is not the most honest answer.

Ooops, this is starting to sound like a Garrison Keillor monologue. I just need a few more marshmallow fruit salad and tuna casserole references to spice up the story and I'm all set. And that's the news from Lake Woebegon.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Somehow a news report detailing the removal of tariffs on US products is related to Michelle Bachman. Fascinating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Haven't heard about Any "Free Trade" agreement that hasn't been One sided Against the People of the United States-High Fallootin'Hogwash to me ! Small Farmers are becoming extict,it's "Agri-Buisness" Multi-National Corporations who will reap the spoils from this one! Take a look at the film "Food Inc." it's a real Eye Opener!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Romdeau,

I can't tell if your enthusiasm is for the candidate or for my comment. Either way, thanks for the compliment.

Gotta love "farmers" who don't even farm anything benefitting from billions in government subsidies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fertilized-sprayed-hormoneinjected-chemicallycoloured-genemodified American food. It has absolutely no taste and very little nutritional value but at least it looks good!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

American farmers are among the most efficient in the world in terms of sheer output; We produce so much grain that the American taxpayer PAYS farmers to let it rot in silos. According to some estimates, we throw away almost half of ALL food produced in the U.S.

But apparently, tossing it into landfills issomehow more preferable than giving it to people who actually need it, like the 1 billion people currently starving throughout the world at this very moment.

Which suggests at the very least that maybe Americans ought to be first looking at how we farm before trying to cram ridiculously underpriced produce down the throat of the world.

Americans often tout the virtues of Free Market economics, claiming it forces a fair economic balance for both manufacturer and consumer. But if this were truly the case, then why aren't more Americans demanding farmers scale back production to meet real demand? No other industry in the Unites States is encouraged to, much less can succeed, on a formula of, "Make Way More Product Than We Could Ever Possibly Sell and See What Happens." Why then do we encourage farmers to do precisely that through the enticement of government subsidies? Conversely, why not allow produce prices to rise to more realistic levels so that farmers wouldn't need subsidies in the first place?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I hope little South Korea can help us here in Japan by showing the Japanese that Free Trade is something good for everyone, win win situation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

LRA,

You do understand the concept of a bumper crop one would hope. One would also hope you understand the concept of drought also and the concept of trying to keep a steady food supply between the two.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Now it's up to South Korea's Parliament to approve the deal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sailwind,

Your usual condescension is always appreciated, but " . . . the concept of trying to keep a steady food supply between" bumper crops and drought seems to have been lost on most of the agricultural industry in America.

Unless, of course, you're suggesting that throwing away double what's produced is all part of the "plan."

Well, that's a pretty stupid plan, considering the repercussions ranging from bleeding out soil nutrients all the way to the seepage of pesticides into our water supply. Not to mention the obscene amount of water wasted to produce food of which, again, half will simply be thrown away.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unless, of course, you're suggesting that throwing away double what's produced is all part of the "plan."

The U.S pretty much feeds the world through its grain exports, I do not have problem with that. You seem to.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Just watched SK and US presidents speak in Detroit, it was really cool to see Lee in a Tigers hat. Worth staying up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sail wind is right! One sad note though is that with so much food in the USA is that no one should go hungry but millions still go hungry every single day. Something is wrong IMHO.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let produce prices rise? Seriosly.. feeding the world aside.. that would be dangerous at home. Some people can barely afford to eat healthy as it is. If freah food prices rise how will these unemployed, homeless, poor people feed their families? Or should we just let the free market self-regulate their survival rate? (_)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"The U.S pretty much feeds the world through its grain exports, I do not have problem with that. You seem to."

Nowhere in my post did I indicate I had a problem with U.S. food aid. But you already know that. Care to eleborate on where this "seem to" comes from?

I do, however, have a problem with obscene waste while people within our own borders haven't got enough to eat, U.S. farmers require taxpayer-funded subsidies to stay in the business of farming, and the 1 billion people in the world who are currently starving right now are nowhere close to becoming fed, much less self-sufficient, despite the stated goals of U.S. Food Aid to halve world hunger by 2015.

And all of this on top of the U.S. government looking desperately for other markets for our produce, even if the introduction of that produce will effectively destroy the self-sufficiency of any nation foolish enough to enter into what is inevitably going to be an unequal exchange, at least as far as food goes.

The U.S. needs to stop producing and wasting so damned much food. But it seems you don't have a problem with that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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