Barry Levenson, Curator of the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, wrote Habeas Codfish: Reflections on Food and the Law, which is an entertaining and recommended book.
Barry wrote guest posting which follows:
For the last nine years European mustards have been subject to a 100 percent tariff. Not only has this meant higher prices for our mustards from Dijon, from Ireland, from Germany, from Holland, etc., it has also resulted in fewer European mustards coming into the U.S.
You can do something to help get rid of this terrible tax on imported mustards.
First, some brief background. In 1999, the U.S. imposed 100 percent duties on a variety of goods in retaliation for Europe’s unwillingness to buy American beef from cattle that had been treated with growth hormones. Some of these goods were European beef products and that made sense. However, the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) went further and imposed duties on several randomly selected goods, including mustard.
Although the beef hormone dispute remains unsettled, we have a chance to get mustard off of the hit list. The USTR is soliciting public comments on the items on the current hit list with the possibility that some items will be removed. THAT’S WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Comments are due by Monday, December 8. You can fax them or send them electronically. I have already sent in my comments and you can see them by following the URL address at the end of this paragraph and then double-clicking the PDF icon after the word ‘VIEWS.’ http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=09000064807c1ecf
Now it’s your turn to participate in the process. You can fax your comments to Sandy McKinzy at (202)-395-3640 or by posting them electronically at the government web site, http://www.regulations.gov/.
When you open the site, you can get to the right docket by typing the following in the ‘SEARCH DOCUMENTS’ box: USTR-2008-0036 and then <<GO>>. This will take you to the page with all of the posted comments. On the left side of the page, you will see ‘DOCUMENT TYPE.’
Click on NOTICES. Then click on ‘Send a Comment or Submission’ (next to a yellow thought bubble).
Be sure to put at the top of your comment: “Re: Prepared Mustard, HTS21033040” Even something as simple as “Please, take mustard off the tariff list” will help.
I have met personally with representatives of the USTR. I do not advise trying to take sides in the beef-hormone dispute; they are firm in their position that hormone treated beef is safe.
Then voice your support for removing mustard from the tariff list.