Sunday, February 06, 2005

Where's the Canadian Beef?

The Bush administration is looking to reopen the Canadian border after officials discovered mad cow disease in May of 2003. Democrats are calling this “a disaster,” but I fail to see how. While I’m sure it’s a legitimate concern, the panic surrounding it speaks pure politics. A single case makes blaring headlines and politicians scream protectionism—all too conveniently.

Importing cattle will hurt American ranchers as the price of beef falls (something the Secretary of Agriculture is quick to point out). What these politicians fail to point out is the meat packing industry would benefit from the open borders; jobs are created here, destroyed there and consumers win. And if you’re clever, you’d notice that that packing industry would have a lot to lose if Canadian beef had mad cow disease. Apparently their confident it’s clean and I’d take an industry’s vested interest over a politician’s scare tactics any day.

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