‘Make America Great Again!” blusters Donald Trump — America’s ranching families, however, would like Trump to come off his high horse and get serious about a more modest goal, namely: Make America COOL Again.
COOL stands for Country-of-Origin Labeling, a straightforward law requiring that agribusiness giants label meat packages to tell us whether it came from the USA, China, Brazil… or Whereintheworldistan. This empowers consumers to decide where their families’ food dollars go. But multinational powerhouses like Tyson Foods and Cargill don’t want you and me making such decisions.
So, in 2012, the meat monopolists got the World Trade Organization to decree that our nation’s COOL law violated global trade rules — and our corporate-submissive Congress critters repealed the law.
Then came Donald Trump and his Made-in-America campaign, promising struggling ranchers that he’d restore the COOL label as a centerpiece of his new NAFTA deal. Ranching families cheered because getting that “American Made” brand on their products would mean more sales and better prices.
But wait — Trump has now issued his new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and in his grandiose, 1,809-page document, COOL is not even mentioned!
Worse, it slaps America’s hard-hit ranching families in the face, allowing multinational meatpackers to keep shipping foreign beef into the U.S. market that doesn’t meet our food safety standards! Aside from health issues, this gives Tyson and other giants an incentive to abandon U.S. ranchers entirely.
To stand with America’s farm and ranch families against the betrayal by Trump and the Big Food monopolists, contact the National Farmers Union, NFU.org.
Meanwhile... Trump issued a bold, star-spangled executive order promoting the purchase of American-made goods produced by American labor. We consumers respond positively to that pitch, generally preferring to buy everything from mattresses to hockey pucks that are manufactured here at home. Take Patriot Puck, which wraps its hockey pucks in American flag packaging and proudly advertises that they are “The only American Made Hockey Puck” — though they were made in China, and the deceptive sales scam was a federal crime.
But when honest competitors and defrauded consumers protested the deceit, Trump’s Federal Trade Commission appointees coddled the job-stealing culprit — they assessed no fines, required no admission of the obvious corporate crime, didn’t even make “Patriot” Puck notify customers of its false marketing scam, and let it keep all the profits it pocketed from the fraud. Instead, Trump’s regulatory toughies insisted that the threat of future fines would keep such outlaws in check.
You can contact Hightower at jimhightower.com.