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National Grange News
International Issues Attract Grange Attention
  DECEMBER 2007 --

The Grange throughout its 140 years has been known as an organization whose members take an active interest in and voice opinions on many issues that impact the lives of all American citizens. That tradition was still in play during the recent convention of the National Grange held Nov. 13-16 in Reno.

During the session delegates from across the country discussed a broad range of topics, domestic as well as international in scope. One of those with international reach dealt with the thorny problems of immigration while another examined the consequences of default by a foreign nation on the debts it owes to U.S. institutions.

Problems surrounding illegal immigration have sparked a vigorous and sometimes contentious debate around the country recently. Grange policy-makers discussed this at their convention and decided the policy that allowed children of illegal immigrants to automatically receive U.S. citizenship needs to be overhauled. As an alternative, the Grange proposes that citizenship be automatically granted when one parent is already a United States citizen.

Delegates next looked at a complex economic problem in Argentina that is currently affecting U.S. farmers. In 2001 that South American country defaulted on more than $100 billion in loans with at least $3 billion of that being owed to Americans. Red ink continues to pile up resulting in driving down the value of the Argentine Peso in foreign exchange markets and thus creating an unfair export incentive for their country’s exports -- especially agricultural products. Unfortunately, the U.S. Treasury has not backed Americans who have been hurt by this default but the Grange is asking that the department now reverse its previous position and support domestic investors and bond holders of Argentine sovereign debt in all U.S. court cases brought by those bond holders.

Furthermore, the National Grange is calling upon the U.S. government to adopt coordinated policies to combat trade-distorting practices instituted by foreign governments -- such as currency manipulation and unilateral repudiation of sovereign debt, especially in those cases where it becomes more difficult for U.S. farmers and manufacturers to sell their products in oversees markets.


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