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Thread: free trade

  1. #1
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    free trade

    It seems obvious to me that free trade would benefit everyone.

    The developing countries intend to challenge the industrialized North’s agricultural policies that are distorting trade before proceeding to other matters, according to experts from the International Association of Agricultural Economists, who are also demanding that the rich nations end their self-seeking protectionist policies. They note that farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa could earn $2 billion more every year if the United States and the EU were to renounce their policy of subsidies for basic produce and open up their markets.

    Only a very small number of politically connected producers benefit from these
    subsidies. Some of the most (supposedly) liberal American politicians and voters
    become viciously xenophobic and racist when you threaten to allow free
    trade to take away their unfair subsidies and tarriffs. You have probably heard them
    rant against "cheap foreign labor". What is so "liberal" about hatred of foreigners
    and the goods they wish to sell?
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    I can't comment on the situation in the US.

    In the EU, a lot of small farmers do directly benefit from these subsidies, especially in France. Which is why France is so opposed to a reform of the EU subsidies i.e. the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). Poland is now hoping to make a lot of money indirectly out of this as well, as they have a similar setup (i.e. relatively few large producers).

    In a way, the EU position is wrong from a practical & moral perspective.
    The CAP was introduced when the EEC (the precursor to the EU) was originally set up.
    At that time, there was a genuine fear that Europe would not be able to produce enough to feed itself.

    However, since then we have seen "butter mountains" etc., which means that farmers are being subsidised to produce something that is completely uneconomic, and cannot be sold, even at discounted prices.

    Which of course means that the developing world suffers, as from time to time the EU dumps some of its stocks on the world market.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Free trade is gonna be difficult for the small farmers cos they are gonna be squeezed out by the big producers. cos without subsidies, they jsut cannot compete with the big guys where pricing is concerned. they have to either move into crops where the bigs gyus are not in or just close the farm.

    Its not really fair cos the all the farmers big and small are not starting on equal ground. The big guys are the ones who will benefit and also the more advance countries.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    central il
    Free trade is good as an ideal but fails in practice (much like communism). Remember all corperations are shortsighted and greedy. They will exploit any worker while they can, when they nolonger can they will move shope else where.

    I can see a liberal being agenst free trade because of the explotation involved.
    \Personaly I am agenst free trade because I a man isolationist bastered, and see it as a way for the rich of this country toget richer while exploiting the rest of us.
    Who is more trustworthy then all of the gurus or Buddha’s?

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