quarta-feira, abril 07, 2004
Artigo na Ideas On Liberty.
[F]arm subsidies in rich countries depress market prices for farm products and induce poor countries in Africa and elsewhere to import food that local farmers could otherwise produce more efficiently. Farmers in poor countries are rightly concerned about the effects of the subsidies.
Consider cotton. The United States spends some $2.5 billion a year and the European Union about $700 million in subsidies to cotton farmers. The historically low cotton prices are wreaking havoc for domestic producers in poor countries. Cotton subsidies in Mississippi drive cotton farmers in West Africa out of business. African countries pleaded unsuccessfully with the WTO to end all cotton subsidies, but they are only the tip of the agricultural-subsidy iceberg.
U.S. farmers annually receive more than $20 billion from the government, and EU subsidies are even larger?45 billion euros a year. These payments for beef, cotton, wheat, and other products spur production, depress product prices on world markets, and make it more difficult for farmers in developing countries to compete. American farmers produce twice as much wheat as the country uses, but federal subsidies help protect them from world market-price signals. Washington then uses food aid and other export programs as a safety valve to cope with overproduction.
Both the EU and the United States maintain programs to directly subsidize exports of farm products. The EU spends about $3.3 billion per year doing this. That gives EU goods an artificial advantage in international markets and works against the interests of producers in poor countries.
posted by Miguel Noronha 5:11 da tarde
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