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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

its subsidies by another name « Previous | |Next »
September 15, 2003

Australia has a reputation of being an efficient food exporter. It seeks to reform world trade through getting protectionist nations to open their markets to farm imports, and to eliminate all export subsidies protectionist nation's pay their farmers to help them compete against rivals from other countries. Australia has virtually no tarriff or other trade barriers on farm imports and pays only minimal subsidies to farmers.

That's the virtuous self image presented by Australia at the World Trade Organization talks. Canberra preaches the gospel of free trade as it were some fundamentalist preacher. At the same time Canberra is unwilling to reform the sugar industry, or address that industry's fundamental structural problems. It is only too willing to provide assistance packages and income support measures.

Is not this handing out money to inefficient cane farmers a subsidy?
And why does the Howard Government subsidise inefficient farmers against rivals from other countries?

Because the Coalition (National Party) holds a string of Queensland seats along the Queensland Coast. That is why. It is pork barrelling.

Update
An editorial in The Australian talks about Australia being:


"...the white knight of world trade, leading the charge for global reform as chair of the Cairns Group of 17 agricultural producers, nations that do not subsidise their farm exports."

Image is all.

I guess they have conveniently forgotten that Australia is acting shamelessly in subsidising the cane farmers to prop up a dying National Party in coastal Queensland.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:20 PM | | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (1)
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» Labour reform and values from The Usurer
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