Trade

Protectionist Trump Regime Warns of Protectionism

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The European Union is currently considering a "farm to fork" proposal that will lay out guidelines and regulations for sustainable farming and food supply well into the future and the Trump regime is not-so-hilariously saying it could lead to a trade war.

We're already in the middle of a trade war initiated by the Trump regime, of course, but Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue says the proposal will increase prices and lead to protectionism.

Perdue said in a conference call Tuesday with European and U.S. reporters that world food prices would double if the initiative were followed globally. He said that the estimate was based on conclusions from U.S. Department of Agriculture economists he spoke to. [...]

The “Farm to Fork” strategy maps out the ways for the region to halve the use of pesticides and antibiotics, boost organic farming, promote plant-based proteins and make every link of the food system more sustainable.

It’s “extremely problematic” to agriculture trade to impose Farm to Fork, characterizing it as relying on “subjective” standards, Perdue said. While he doesn’t think Farm to Fork is in itself protectionist, Perdue said it will inevitably lead to protectionist policies.

The idea that this will literally "double" food prices seems too fantastical to believe to me, but it's also fantastical that Perdue could say this with a straight face.

Food prices being what they already are today, the Trump regime has waged a global trade war centered around agriculture. From China to Mexica, Canada, and the European Union, the Trump regime has imposed tariffs in the name of forcing our trading partners to buy more of our agriculture. The regime has also imposed tariffs on European agriculture in response to illegal subsidies for Airbus in -- checks notes -- 2007; 13 years ago.

With Perdue as their figurative spokesman, this seems like baseless fearmongering promoted by corporate farming interests that are concerned the next president and Congress may get serious about climate change and general sustainability.

Will the price of food increase if Congress does something like link subsidies to sustainability initiatives? Probably, but what else is new? My own food costs have become oppressive, but what can you do? The alternative -- ignoring climate change and letting the world collapse -- is much worse than sacrificing a few extra bucks.

Many people including myself at times don't have a few extra bucks, but that's another problem we need to tackle. Raise the federal minimum wage and guarantee access to health care and higher food prices won't be quite as scary.

  • muselet

    Who is this hogwash (yes, you see what I did there) intended to influence?

    Farmers know in their bones that sustainable agriculture isn’t that much more expensive than conventional agriculture. Agricultural economists who don’t have The Boss breathing down their necks know world food prices will eventually double, but only if one doesn’t account for decades of inflation. Trade negotiators know, because they’ve dealt with this sort of thing since before the Hitler War, producers have to meet standards set by countries or groups of countries (ever see a CE marking on a product?) in order to sell their products.

    On the other hand, especially stupid politicians and the denizens of think tanks will believe whatever claptrap is presented to them, so why go to great lengths to convince them?

    Don’t want US agricultural products locked out of the European market? Meet European regulations. It’s really not that hard a concept to grasp.

    –alopecia