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    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    Farmers take anti-CAFTA message to Washington

    http://www.billingsgazette.com

    July 24, 2005

    Last modified July 24, 2005 - 1:11 am

    Farmers take anti-CAFTA message to Washington

    Knight Ridder News

    COLUMBUS, Mo. - A group that represents family farms will lobby this week against the Central American Free Trade Agreement, arguing that Missouri farmers will lose out if the United States normalizes trade with the region.

    Russ Kremer, president of the Missouri Farmers Union, traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with each member of the state's congressional delegation over the next two days.

    CAFTA, which likely will come to a final vote in the U.S. House by August, would lower prices for U.S. grain producers and ignore labor and environmental regulations, he said this morning.

    "This is a policy that's driven by huge globalized corporations, not family farmers," said Kremer, who owns a 160-acre farm in Osage County.

    Supporters say the trade agreement would foster an American presence in Central America and bolster exports from U.S. farmers to the region, which is largely without such crops as soybeans. The Senate narrowly approved CAFTA earlier this year, 54-45, largely along party lines.

    In the House, several representatives from grain-producing states have already voiced support for the agreement, including Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo. Hulshof voted with the majority on the Ways and Means Committee to send the measure to the floor of the House.

    Kremer and the farmers union are facing a pitched battle. Although the close vote in the Senate signified seeds of doubt growing among lawmakers about CAFTA, Kremer said, the measure could have more support in the House. Two Democrats, William Jefferson of Louisiana and John Tanner of Tennessee, crossed party lines to vote with Hulshof and 22 other Republicans in support of the trade agreement last month.

    Scott Baker, a spokesman for Hulshof, said farmers can expect as much as $1.5 billion in exports as a result of CAFTA, citing figures from the American Farm Bureau.

    Other farm groups have signed on to support CAFTA. In May, both the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association sent letters supporting the measure to each member of Congress.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    The National Corn Growers and America Soybean Association are GMO organizations that supply GMO corporations that want to control these markets world wide.

    I hope the small farmers prevail as they are the hope to maintain a healthy food supply that doesn't destroy the biology of the planet.

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