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One has to wonder how much better informed Americans would be if we had writers like Ms. Order discount calcium carbonate Weir working for our newspapers/media outlets instead of those who cover breaking "Balloon Boy" stories..... Obama Administration Takes from American Farmers, order discount calcium carbonate Gives to Israel http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/uploads/image/obama_farmers.jpg by Alison Weir / October 24th, order discount calcium carbonate 2009 Policy change slips in under the radar At a time of financial crisis in the United States in which thousands of Americans have lost their jobs and homes, order discount calcium carbonate an Israeli news service reports that President Obama has just signed a presidential memo eliminating a tariff on Israel that protected American dairy farmers and that raised money for the American economy. In addition, order discount calcium carbonate according to the Israeli report, order discount calcium carbonate US trade authorities have ordered the return of $17, order discount calcium carbonate000 to an Israeli export agent for a levy paid for butter produced by an Israeli company. Order discount calcium carbonate The move comes at a time when American dairy farmers have been facing what industry representatives call a “crisis.” According to the National Milk Producers Federation website, order discount calcium carbonate “U.S. Order discount calcium carbonate dairy producers have been facing unprecedented losses over the past year due to low milk prices and high input costs. Order discount calcium carbonate The dire economic straits have forced many dairy farmers to exit the industry, order discount calcium carbonate oftentimes having to sell their herds or farms.” According to the news report by Israeli wire service Ynet, order discount calcium carbonate the Obama memo, order discount calcium carbonate which was signed several days ago, order discount calcium carbonate removed the import subcharge on dairy products from Israel. Order discount calcium carbonate The report noted that such levies are important for protecting local production against competing imports, order discount calcium carbonate “which put the local production at risk.” The levy is required from most countries that export dairy products to the U.S. Order discount calcium carbonate According to Ynet, order discount calcium carbonate Israeli agricultural attaché Yaakov Poleg was able to convince the US that “the trade agreement between Israel and the US prohibits placing taxes on exports from Israel.” However, order discount calcium carbonate this tax was required under previous American administrations. The Ynet report quotes Israeli export agent Dudu Buch, order discount calcium carbonate whose company is to receive the $17, order discount calcium carbonate000, order discount calcium carbonateas taking credit for obtaining this change in US policy. Order discount calcium carbonate Buch states: “My American colleague was under a lot of pressure and almost gave up, order discount calcium carbonate saying that if the American system imposed a protection levy it would last forever.” Buch goes on to say, order discount calcium carbonate “I told him that we Israelis can think differently. Order discount calcium carbonate I turned to the Agriculture Ministry’s representative at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, order discount calcium carbonate and the matter was dealt with quickly.” Israel’s attaché was particularly pleased that this change was made through apresidential memo, order discount calcium carbonate rather than through normal channels, order discount calcium carbonate stating “… in light of the fact that Israel was removed from the list through a presidential declaration, order discount calcium carbonate there is no fear that itwill be placed on us again in the future.” According to Ynet, order discount calcium carbonate Israeli dairy exports to the US are “constantly on the rise, order discount calcium carbonate” a situation that could hurt US dairy farmers. Order discount calcium carbonate The Obama memo would seem to hinder what the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) described in July a sa broad effort, order discount calcium carbonate which included the US Department of Agriculture, order discount calcium carbonate “to reverse the current dairy crisis.” The DFA emphasized: “Every initiative we can successfully implement to bolster milk prices makes a vital difference to the dairy farmers who are fighting hard to maintain their livelihoods.” Yesterday the organization mailed out a special cash payment to dairy farmers around the country to help “bridge the gap” to a full recovery, order discount calcium carbonate stating that it recognized “that our members have a long road ahead as they heal from this difficult year. Order discount calcium carbonate Our intent is that this special cash payment will help these dedicated farmers hang on until recovery is in full swing and positive cash flows return.” No one at the US Department of Agriculture contacted for information about this policy change had been aware that it had been implemented. Order discount calcium carbonate Some suggested that it might be related to a free trade agreement with Israel signed in 1995, order discount calcium carbonate but had no information as to why an ongoing US policy had been modified by presidential order. Council for the National Interest President Eugene Bird objected to the change: “Once again we see Israel receiving special treatment, order discount calcium carbonate at the cost to Americans. Order discount calcium carbonate Even American citizens who oppose protective tariffs want to see a fair and equitable policy. Order discount calcium carbonate Instead we have a policy change — implemented without public input or debate — that benefits one of the richest nations on earth, order discount calcium carbonate and a nation that consistently flouts US laws and policies.” Israel is generally rated as having the 17th wealthiest population in the world. Bird also noted that Israel, order discount calcium carbonate in violation of US trade agreements, order discount calcium carbonate has been blocking some American products entirely. Order discount calcium carbonate “A serious look should be taken at how Israel has prevented certain American products from being imported into Israel, order discount calcium carbonate” Bird said, order discount calcium carbonate “for example orange juice.” In addition, order discount calcium carbonate Bird pointed out that for decades Israeli policies have prevented Palestinian exports, order discount calcium carbonate creating extreme financial hardship that has escalated in recent years. Order discount calcium carbonate Numerous Palestinian farmers have lost their livelihoods, order discount calcium carbonate and unemployment and malnutrition are being seen in Gaza at what the Red Cross has called “devastating” levels. Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew. Order discount calcium carbonate She can be reached at: contact@ifamericansknew.org. Order discount calcium carbonate Read other articles by Ms. Order discount calcium carbonate Weir or visit the If Americans Knew website. http://www.ifamericansknew.org/