Wests free trade has cost Africa £150 bn

#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.


Free trade has cost Africa almost £150 billion over the past 20 years, a charity claimed yesterday.

Christian Aid published a study that used economic modelling to suggest what might have happened to African economies if they had not been forced to open up their markets.


Many African countries have had to pursue trade liberalisation as a condition of receiving aid from the West.

According to Christian Aid, these policies have cost the continent a sum equivalent to the amount needed to wipe out its entire debt because African farmers have been forced out of business by subsidised competition from abroad.

As an example, the report cites Ghana, which started importing rice when trade liberalisation began in 1986, even though it also produced the crop in large quantities.

Christian Aid said liberalisation led to a sharp fall in national income.

Using an economic model to work out what would have happened otherwise, the report said Ghana's GDP in 2000 would have been £466 million higher without free trade than the actual £2.7 billion figure achieved.

Christian Aid said that in the same year Ghana lost the equivalent of £24 per person because of trade policies, and received only £17 per person in aid.

One of Tony Blair's aims at next month's G8 summit is to get the world's rich countries to abolish the subsidies and tariffs that make it hard for Africans to sell their produce at competitive prices in the West.

But aid campaigners want him to insist on "fair trade", rather than "free trade", meaning that they want to allow African countries to apply protectionist measures to help their own farmers.


Claire Melamed, a Christian Aid spokesman, said that when the G8 leaders meet at Gleneagles they should not demand liberalisation as a condition of increasing aid for Africa.

In a separate report released yesterday, ActionAid also claimed that Western trade policies had done enormous damage to Africa.

Steve Tibbett, the head of policy at ActionAid UK, said: "The G8 have made grand statements on Africa for 10 years now. In that time, they have continued to frog-march African countries into policies that have harmed them.

"They have cancelled only a fraction of poor countries' debts and have given less and lower quality aid."
torygraph
 
#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:
 
#3
stoatman said:
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:
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
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.
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.
 
#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
RSupwood said:
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.
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.
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
Duck Dodgers said:
Lets be honest, how many REAL African economic success stories are there really?[/color]
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
Stained_Eligius said:
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.....

Have you been reading the "British Army in 2300" thread? :D
 
#15
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.
What rate is that then ?
 
#17
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.
If you look at the data, you'll see that it is landowners and food manufacturers who profit the most. Not the farmers. There are still plenty of poor continental farmers.
 

Latest Threads

Top