USDA Proposed Rule on Livestock Marketing Could Cost U.S. 104,000 Jobs and Reduces GDP by $14 Billion, New Economic Impact Study Shows

The study found that the disruption and resulting inefficiencies in the market should the rule be implemented would increase retail meat prices by 3.33 percent at a national level, causing a 1.68 percent decrease in consumer demand for potentially lower quality meat and poultry products. Therefore, not only will there be fewer opportunities for meat packers, wholesalers and retailers, but livestock and poultry producers and their suppliers will also see a reduction in demand and economic opportunities.

The study’s findings also highlight the fact that livestock producers would be especially affected by the implementation of this rule, losing as many as 21,274 jobs, many in rural America.

Not included in the proposal was an economic analysis, a fact that was criticized recently by 115 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in a bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. That omission makes this new study the first to quantify the proposal’s potential impact.

Boyle added that according to Gallup’s 2010 annual Governance survey, an expanded proportion of Americans (59 percent – up eight percentage points from a year ago) believe the government has overstepped its bounds and grown too intrusive and too powerful.

“This government intervention will dismantle 20 years of progress that has helped the U.S. meat and poultry industry to deliver the safest, most affordable meat and poultry supply in the world,” said Boyle. “As our study shows, this protectionist policy proposal would do nothing but harm Americans who work every day to put food on our tables.”

SOURCE American Meat Institute