Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trade Talks

Trade talks - that is tells a story.

Trade data reveals what appears to be a dirty secret. While there is all kinds of talk about reduced imports, the reduction per unit is not that great, especially when compared with U.S. dairy farm milk price.

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) which defines all imports has several gradations. The most precise definition is ten digits HTS 04, the two digit number for dairy can be searched at the U.S. International Trade Commission database for several aspects. One interesting aspect identifies how much each unit costs.
Although there is talk about world dairy price collapse, the HTS 04 imports only dropped 8.80%, year-to-date through October 2009 compared with YTD 2008.

To put that in perspective, the “All Milk” price at U.S. dairy farms dropped 35%.

In essence, this is about imbalance of power.

1 comment:

  1. It is about power and profits. The dairy processing and marketing system in this country and the world for that matter isn't about providing food and nutrition for people; it's about making a profit and nothing else. It's a system (like other food systems) that is perfectly happy to leave hundreds of millions of folks unfed and farmers in bankruptcy and ruin. When low farm milk prices strike we're blamed for over production - this has been happening for decades. Yet we now have more people in this country and fewer cows than I can ever remember.
    By the way if we truly did have "too much" milk we would have large quantities of butter - the best and fastest way to use milk fat. But this isn't the case as we all know.
    In the meantime our government worries about global CO2 concentrations, willing to spend countless billions of dollars, that we don't have, on something that probably will hurt more folks than help. Yet they are quite happy to leave millions in the world go without the basic nutrition to sustain life? I still say our governments time and our money would be better spent on trade reform, (not free trade, fair trade) if we can produce it for ourselves don't buy it from others - and if we make too much of a good thing (food) and can't find a market for it at a fair price, then give it away, for free to the needy of this country or the world, and sustain a fair price for the production - adjust production as needed to meet current demand (quota system) and produce for this country first - again limit or stop all dairy imports (trust me we buy enough other crap to make up the difference - and if New Zealand gets mad at us, who cares?). Other food systems should be looked at in a similar fashion - however dairy and beef would be high on the list to reform first. By the way, we should tell the WTO and OIE to go **** themselves; the USA should always stand proud and independent - we can decide what's best for our country without the likes of the WTO and OIE.
    Something like this would help ensure OUR children aren't worse off than we are, becoming ever increasingly dependent on foreign food... as we are already reliant on overseas energy.
    The great gifts nature provided for the people of this country made it the greatest country on earth;, under pricing natural resources and farm products and short changing the folks that work with God and nature to bring this new wealth to market will be the downfall of this great country. We don't need poverty up policies. Instead give Americans a true bottom-up system that will save all of us.