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The Recent EU Agreement, Summed Up

Mr Blair has insisted that there must be a possibility of farm spending reform before 2013. France opposed that and stuck to a deal, struck in 2002 and agreed by Mr Blair, under which cash for agriculture was fixed until 2013. M. Chirac is likely to point out that France would, in 2009, veto any changes before 2013. The UK is expected to point out that M. Chirac is unlikely to be president in 2009.

Hopes of a deal rose as leaders shied away from the prospect of failing to decide the budget for the second time in six months.


At 9:18 AM, Blogger Ivan said...

All sincere parties should take the Sharon-plan. Unilaterally remove trade barriers.

The thing I don't get about subsidies is that there would still be a strong market for higher-cost high-value (even "organic") farm products.

I went to a cheese tasting class recently. Most of the Cheeses were from Europe and some cost as much at $25/lb. I'm pretty sure farms like that would stay in business, even if Ethopians started selling goats milk.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Miguel said...

I think most of the politicians in questions would like to, but even in the US, agri-lobbying is strong enough that a self-defined free trade presidents like Bush and Clinton couldn't have enough power to free up markets.

(To the extent that right wing politicians blame trade agreements falling through on, say, France, I think they're just point scoring - otherwise they could smite France twice by tearing up subsidies unilaterally.)

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

I've been told 80% of US farm subsidies go to 5 congressional districts.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

That statistic, if true, should absolutely be acompanied by congresscritter names.


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