Wests free trade has cost Africa £150 bn

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Agent_Smith, Jun 20, 2005.

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  1. What utter TOSH!!!

    The main problem for african commerce and trade is the state sponsored subsidies given to EU and American Farmers to overproduce and dump their products in the 3rd world. Get rid of them, and bring in 'proper' freetrade and then the African economies might start turning around.

    Once again the aid agencies see 'fair-trade' as the only solution for the problems, when in fact all they are doing is reversing the negative practice of western protectionism.

    Free trade is the only way ahead. Subsidies and protectionism only encourage in-efficient practices and bloated government depts to dish them out!

    Don't get me wrong, if we can buy something locally at the same price as the same product imported, then we should (as it saves on fuel and transport costs.) but other than that, we should allow capitalism to regulate itself.

  2. I hate it when they say "free trade" to mean "government intervention in forcing poor countries to open up to subsidised produce from quasi-socialist countries" instead of genuine free trade, i.e. "allowing anyone to trade without government interference". They just want to replace one type of government interventionism with another. How dare they take the name of free trade in vain & use it to create a strawman argument against it? :evil:
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  3. Exactly mate. It's only free trade if they have an advantage :roll:

    free trade without govt intervention. nothing else nothing more.
  4. Another point is how much did they factor in the rampant and institutional corruption and incompetence that is endemic throughout the entire continent? That is what REALLY stands in the way of Africa propsering as it should.

    Does anyone SERIOUSLY believe that ALL of the £150 Billion, in question, would have made into the African economy?

    More than likely, it would have gone towards building Palaces, Mercedes Limos, Arms deals, as well as just ending up in a numbered account in the Caymans, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

    Lets be honest, how many REAL African economic success stories are there really?

    Zimbabwe SHOULD be on of the best off countries on the continent but its falling to bits because of Mugabes massive incompetence. Sierra Leone has diamonds in abundance but look what has happened there in recent times. You hear the same sort of story in near enough every nation on the continent.

    They can't be trusted to run an orgy in a knocking shop with £50k stuck out of their shirt pockets.
  5. Exactly which agricultural crops are grown in Europe under subsidies that could be more cheaply produced in Africa?
  6. Ok, not exactly grown in the EU but a good example is RICE. America exports rice to africa when it can be grown there for almost next to nothing. This is made possible by the subsidies that the US govt grant to American farmers, allowing them to undercut the africans.

    Same happens with other things like bannanas which are grown in french guianna (sp?) and then exported to africa for next to nothign because of the subsidies paid by france.

    If all the subsidies were got rid of, it would force farming and agriculture to become lean and efficient because during the years of the CAP, EU farming has become inneficient and bloated.
  7. You might like to qualify that by excluding UK farmers. Please note that is farmers, not land owners. Uk farmers are efficient now, particularly dairy ones, if they weren't they would go bust given the quotas they have to work to. The CAP adds a fortune to the real cost of food to the consumer but it is in the main the French and German farmers who benefit.

    Factor in the crippling hold that UK supermarkets have on the farmers where they can dictate prices and it's a wonder the farmers make anything. The major milk supplier to Tesco and Asda has just reduced the price they pay farmers for milk but you won't have seen a reduction on the shelves.
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  8. If global warming continues at this rate, even UK mainland farmers will eventually be growing tropical fruit and rice. As will the rest of Europe. Africa will still be in the poo because it is capitalism that drives this world, not sympathy. Why would the economically strong nations willingly make Africa strong? Strong enough to be self-sufficient perhaps, but never strong enough to affect the status quo of the global marketplace.
  9. Fair point. Just goes to show how subsidies are fair for some and unfair on others. The french and german grow rich of the fat of the CAP, where as the Uk farmer stuggles to make a profit. Your point about the CAP artificially sustaining high food prices is another example of why it must be scrapped.
  10. We must not lose sight of the fact that food is one of the basic strategic resources like oil and water. The reason we have agricultural subsidies is to ensure we can remain self-sufficient in the staple crops.
    This may not seem important in view of globalisation but remember that we were importing a significant proportion of our food from North America in the 1930s and tens of thousands of acres in Britain were lying waste. This very nearly starved us in WWII and we were still rationing well into the fifties. The truth is that we cannot rely on being able to import food economically should global conditions change and were we to rely on imports, as an island nation we would be leaving ourselves open to extortion and threats to vital food supplies have been causing wars since at least Troy.
  11. True Bladenburg. But.... Protect ourselves, protect jobs, protect wealth, buy big weapons, enter alliances be a small part of something big and powerful . Its the only form of warfare left to Europe. We need to get off this planet and start again.....
  12. The Nigerian 419 scams? IIRC they make up about 10% of Nigeria's GDP! Not a great example, but definately an African economic success story...

  13. Have you been reading the "British Army in 2300" thread? :D
  14. I have now B. See what you mean :D
  15. What rate is that then ?