Several of the “Developing Nations” walked out of the WTO talks at Cancun last week. They wanted the U.S. and Europe to stop their farm subsidies to resident agriculture producers and let the market prices float.
In my view, we have allowed the major portion of our industrial base to move OCONUS, including the critical hi-tech machine-tool production that now resides mainly on Taiwan. We do not have the industrial base to completely support an all-out war effort like we did at WWII. To now allow our Agriculture base to wither and die from the competition of slave-labor 3rd world nations would be even a more foolish mistake. A nation that cannot feed itself is at the mercy of those who can.
Here is an article from NYTimes of one frustrated farmer from Asia, where his country has put all it’s eggs into production of vehicles, to the neglect of it’s farmers. North Korea can’t feed itself, and if SoK keeps going they may be in the same sinking boat. Of course, we would keep them from going without; our agriculture exports are one of the big-ticket items that helps offset the miserable “balance of payments”!
Globalization and Agricultural Subsidies
The big news out of Cancún this week was the breakdown in the World Trade Organization talks, as the developing nations walked out in frustration over farm subsidies. To most of the world, Mr. Lee’s act may have seemed like a sideshow, the latest face of extreme antiglobalist protest, perhaps, just a final desperate measure by a disturbed man.
But in rural communities like this one in southern South Korea, Mr. Lee, a three-time member of the provincial assembly, was seen as a heroic figure, a defender of debt-ridden farmers struggling to maintain an age-old agrarian tradition in a fast-developing country where manufacturing is king