Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ugly Americans protecting their cows

Ugly Americans – What did we expect, free access to their dairy market?

According to this story I read online today, American farmers are beginning to shiver at the prospects of any Free Trade Agreement between the US and New Zealand . NZ’s dairy farmers will clobber them, no doubt.

The report says: The US National Milk Producers Federation is demanding full exclusion of Kiwi dairy products. The United States has agreed to begin free trade talks in March with the P4 nations, comprising New Zealand , Singapore, Chile and Brunei. American farmers are seeking the exclusion because of what they call our dairy industry's unique structure and excessive manipulation of the dairy markets globally and in the US.”

Spokesman Jerry Kozak was reported as saying this manipulation will drive down dairy farmer income in America, force farms out of business and create a ripple effect swamping dairy plants and other rural business. He says the New Zealand Government must be salivating at the prospect of getting unfettered access to the US market. Bollocks, this is protectionism personified!

Well, Mr Kozak, free trade must work both ways. America must wake up to the fact that it can’t force the rest of the world to sing the free trade tune, and when it comes to its prized industries under threat, it suddenly sings from another song sheet. Shame! Shame!

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