Hawks Keeps Pushing for Country-of-Origin Labeling

Rep. Kristi Noem is trying to say she’s doing more for South Dakota on House Ways and Means than on House Agriculture, but whatever committee she’s on, she’s not explaining what she’s doing to fight for concrete policies like country-of-origin labeling that should be good for South Dakota agriculture.

Rep. Paula Hawks, Noem’s Democratic challenger, posts this video this morning calling for Congress to bring back COOL:

Rep. Noem let COOL die in last year’s budget deal. She has yet to write COOL into any legislation before House Ways and Means.

23 Responses to Hawks Keeps Pushing for Country-of-Origin Labeling

  1. Don Coyote

    What part of the WTO ruling against US COOL doesn’t Hawks understand? The World Trade Organization ruled last December that Canada and Mexico could charge a 100% retaliatory tariff on US imported meat if COOL was not ended. I can only suppose that Hawks is ok with jeopardizing the $4B+ of beef, pork and lamb business that the US does yearly with Canada and Mexico by reinstating COOL. And she wants to sit on the Agricultural Committee with this flawed reasoning?

  2. Paula Hawks sounds more and more like the confident representative South Dakota needs to help further the importance of our main industry here, agriculture. More and more markets are beginning to open with more opportunities for our state, Paula Hawks recognizes that, her opponent is her usual clueless self. Voters need to ask themselves if they are better off than they were when NOem took the wheel to help drive the country into the ditch or if they need someone who can actually navigate the road. Paula Hawks is ready to make the changes needed for the country and for our state.

  3. Yes they could charge that, and so could we. Why are you so full of fake fear or is that just the republican coming out? At least then there would be control over dumping and the manipulation of the markets by the few packers who now have a stranglehold over meat production. Paula Hawks is correct on her support for COOL as it will not only help ranchers, it will also help the rest of the ag community as well. That is something she understands, so question answered.

  4. mike from iowa

    Who cares about Mexico when Drumpf is going to build his wall and keep them undesirables out? Unless you can learn dressed beef and pork to climb walls, there won’t be any import/export of beef to Mexico. Problem solved.

  5. Don Coyote

    @Jerry: “Yes they could charge that, and so could we.”

    No, no, no. Obviously you don’t understand how trade agreements work. Under WTO agreements tariffs are greatly reduced or cut to zero to facilitate free trade.


    However when a country is found in violation of the trade treaty, retaliatory tariffs are permitted by the treaty. The US is not being allowed that under the WTO COOL ruling.
    What Hawks should be calling for then is the withdrawal from WTO by the US if she is serious about the re-instatement of COOL.

  6. Don Coyote

    @jerry: “… the importance of our main industry here, agriculture”

    Agriculture only accounts for 10% of South Dakota’s GDP. Actually wholesale trade is the largest component of SD’s GDP (38% of GDP) followed by finance, insurance and real estate (25%)


    Noem is correct, Ways and MEans effects more South Dakotans than Ag does.

  7. GDP figures do not indicate the actual role agriculture plays in the state economy.

    ‘Agriculture is by far the largest sector of the economy in South Dakota, putting $25.6 billion into our state each year.”
    • Agriculture employs over 115,651 people in South Dakota – more than 30 percent of all jobs.

    Nor do they reflect the severe decline that the industrialization of agriculture is having upon its contribution.

    “Farm income in South Dakota for 2015 totaled $1.1 billion, which was down from $2.6 billion in 2014, a decrease of 56.7%.”


  8. Why doesn’t Noem say that Don? I guess AG isn’t that important

  9. Trade agreements do not work Don. The deck is stacked against worker interests here and only keeps the wealthy even more wealthy. Hawks is correct about COOL. Ways and means for NOem really means a way for her to increase her means. She is a dud and has been since elected

  10. Sam’s Club labels meat a product of USA so the WTO is kinda toothless. As good as Obama has done protecting our foods, it is not helpful to know that some of the meat brought here is not set to our standards. If you and your party would agree to more food and meat inspectors, maybe COOL would not be so important.

  11. Don gets his facts from NOem who gets her’s from Thine who gets his from Trump found in an outhouse on the North 40. Clearly they are pullrs from…

  12. Don Coyote

    @Jerry: “Trade agreements do not work ”

    That’s a different argument for another day. The fact remains Bill Clinton signed the WTO treaty in 1995 and until we withdraw from the treaty we are bound by it’s rules. The final decision stated that Canada and Mexico can charge retaliatory tariffs of $1B if the US doesn’t end COOL, putting in jeopardy over $4B in beef, pork and lamb meat trade. Is Hawks, with all her bluster, ready to explain why she is willing to put at risk billion$$ in trade when a COOL could still be implemented on a voluntary basis or withdrawing from the WTO so a mandatory COOL could be re-instated?

  13. Don if Noem felt COOL was worth fighting for, she could have proposed renegotiating the WTO agreements to ensure it was acceptable. I know Canada and Mexico both complained about the labeling requirements, but their primary reason was the cost involved. Perhaps a modification to the labeling requirements could have been met via other means but with the same result of knowing where our meat comes from. Surely there are ways to make it feasible and we shouldn’t rely upon excuses to explain why it is too difficult or too much of a hassle.

    The bottom line is when I go to the store to buy a toothbrush or a screwdriver I can look at the packaging or the item itself and find out where it was made. However when I buy beef at my local grocery store I have zero idea where it originated from. That seems contrary to common sense – shouldn’t we have the right to know where our food comes from? It might not matter to everyone, but I’d like to know if my beef and pork originated from South Dakota vs. New Zealand or Brazil. It matters – and Noem seems to have simply walked away from an issue which was very important to our farmers and ranchers.

    So if Hawks feels it is worth fighting for then good for her. Perhaps it is worth asking her what her exact plans are and see if she can offer any detail – but either way it seems she is the only one running for the House that is willing to talk about it. Noem has apparently moved on to bigger and better things and feels this isn’t worth her time.

  14. Oh, Coyote, you globalist! Paula Hawks wants to crush the shards of the necklace of globalism!

  15. Don, I hought you said that ag was pretty insignificant in South Dakota, which is it? Hawks is spot on with COOL, it is worth the fight to show there will be no issue with the WTO, long past time to get it done

  16. Protectionist foreign policy: good sometimes, not others. Why not label GMO food, sayeth the board. WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  17. When Trump becomes president he will build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. He will build a wall on the northern border and make Canada pay for it. And he will disavow all treaties and trade pacts. No more Mexican tacos to compete with our American tacos. No more Canadian oil driving down the price of our American oil. No more NATO to drain our resources protecting an ungrateful and slightly rude France. He alone can make America great again by alienating our allies and turning Americans against one another. On day 1 when he’s sworn in there won’t be any need for COOL because there won’t be any meat coming from anywhere else but here, except for those Vienna sausages that look like little short fingers.

  18. I know. It all sounds a bit arbitrary – dare I say, questionable? But with Trump in charge it’s gonna be so good. It’s gonna be so good. Believe me. There’s gonna be so much prosperity that we’re gonna have to grow more cows ’cause everyone’s gonna be eating steak, ok. And we’re gonna send all our rice to China ’cause everyone’s gonna be eating steak. And it’s gonna be American steak by the way.

  19. Don: “Under WTO agreements tariffs are greatly reduced or cut to zero to facilitate free trade.”

    True, but is it fair trade? Do our competitor, foreign producers also agree to pay, safety, and environmental practices that the US adheres to in this “trade facilitation?” Is the free trade of NAFTA or TPPA the economic tide that raises all boats or a race to the lowest, most exploitive harnessing of a country’s resources?

  20. David Bergan

    “Agriculture only accounts for 10% of South Dakota’s GDP. Actually wholesale trade is the largest component of SD’s GDP (38% of GDP) followed by finance, insurance and real estate (25%)”

    Hi Don,

    I think you misread your chart. I see wholesale trade at 7% for SD (6% for US) and “all others” as 38% for SD (52% for US). For some reason the author used two shades of beige in the pie charts that are easy to mix up.

    Kind regards,

  21. Douglas Wiken

    Hawks can not win a SD election campaigning only on the I-29 corridor. Democrats cannot win an election if they do not dent the GOP in West River.

  22. Hawks has been hitting Rapid City. Add that to the I-29 corridor, and is that enough?

  23. Douglas Wiken

    She may have had an interview with the RCJ, but I have not talked to any Democrats yet who have seen her personally. Democrats had a booth at the Home Show a few months ago, but no sign of candidates even if their info was there. I signed Williams and Hawks petitions out there.