Jack & John “Thumbs Up Award”: Mike Johanns

It’s not often we praise politicians on this blog or the show, but I think we should commend Senator Mike Johanns for sending a message to the Japanese and to some of our feet-dragging-in-the-mud leaders in Washington about an issue that affects Nebraska cattle ranchers and meat packers.

Tuesday, before the Senate Commerce Committee, Johanns expressed his frustrations to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration about the recent safety problems with Toyota vehicles.  You may not remember, but Japan has very stringent trade requirements on beef coming from the United States.  This stems from the 2003 discovery of Mad Cow Disease in one Canadian head of cattle.  For about two years Japan and much of the Far East shut off all beef exports from the U.S.  In 2006, they lifted some, but remain very strict to this day.

In his testimony, Johanns asked what the reaction in Japan would be like if the United States shut its borders to all Japanese cars because they have been found to kill Americans due to their defects.  His point wasn’t to threaten Japan with such sanctions, but to prove the wider point that “what comes around, goes around.”  The Japanese have unfairly dealt with U.S. beef and it’s time they come to the realization that our meat is safe.

Safer than their cars, as it would seem.


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