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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Agricultural Protectionism

We all do it, Europe, Japan, The USA, developing countries, we all feel that consumers should not have the right to cheap food. We all somehow believe that Farmers deserve to earn money that consumers are not willing to give them. But which of us is the greatest sinner?
The European Union is the world's most aggressive protector of farmers and agricultural industries, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
OK so we would not expect the USA to point the finger at themselves necessarily, but here are the figures, for what its worth.
EU members shielded 39 percent of their agricultural production from international competition with tariffs of more than 100 percent. The United States, by contrast, protected 26 percent of its agriculture with such "extreme tariffs," the report found.
So we’re both bad but the EU is worse. (These numbers it should be notişced are extreme tariffs ie. over 100%) There are sins, of greater concern however, where do we stand there?
Even though the United States isn't that far behind Europe in extreme tariffs, the European Union dominates the use of export subsidies, the report says, with between 85 and 90 percent of the world's total; the United States provided 2 percent.
So if export subsidies were eliminated by the EU, they would almost cease to exist. Finally, the cost of agriculture to taxpayers.
More than $200 billion is spent annually to subsidize domestic agriculture worldwide.
Now that is one hell of a waste of money.

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