June 23, 2002

HOW FARM SUBSIDIES ARE KILLING PEOPLE AND PROSPERITY in Africa:

Africans need the chance to compete with the few things they have: cheap sun and cheap labour. They need access to the world’s markets. And yet several of their richest potential markets are ring-fenced by tariffs and other protectionist measures designed to keep Western farmers in business. The EU and the US in particular are engaged in a protection racket designed to keep rural constituencies and their media fan clubs in some sort of acquiescence.

It is hard to assess the damage protectionism does to the farmers of the poor world, but bodies like the OECD routinely put it in the range of billions of dollars, and suggest it far outranks the aid we send.

Yes, the damage is huge.

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