The author of an economic analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s controversial livestock marketing rule warns in an op-ed article in The Oklahoman this week that the plan will slash jobs in Oklahoma and throughout the United States.

According to John Dunham, president of John Dunham & Associates, the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) livestock procurement rule could dismantle partnerships between livestock producers and meat packers. He says if the rule is enacted it would cost Oklahoma 2,200 jobs, with lost wages accounting for almost $56 million, with the total economic loss exceeding $258 million. The United States would lose 104,000 jobs and approximately $14 billion in revenue, much of which is spent in small towns and rural areas.

“It’s hard to imagine how a rule that imposes additional costs on rural America could help the farm economy in any way. In fact, it is hard to fathom why the federal government would promulgate a policy that would cost this country any jobs given the current state of the economy,” says Dunham.

The editorial pointed out that even USDA’s own economic data from 2007 suggested that changes such as those proposed by the new rule could cost consumers and producers $60 billion over the next 10 years. Oklahoma residents would pay $25.6 million more for their meat products.

“From an economic and practical standpoint, when I look at the scope of the proposed rule and the amount of damage it will inflict on America’s meat and poultry industry, which generates $832.4 billion annually to the U.S. economy, or roughly 6% of the entire gross domestic product, it convinces me that the rule should not be implemented,” Dunham concludes.

Dunham’s study was commissioned by the American Meat Institute. Results may be viewed at http://www.themarketworks.org.