Monday, June 13, 2005

Another piece of the puzzle

Now that the G8 has decided to cut the debt of many of the world's most impoverished countries, it has to step up and make some real change to global trade rules. It does the world no good if we pay off the Third World's credit card, but don't let them get a job!

We know that trade rules and subsidies rob developing nations of their chance for a level playing field, but it can't be that bad, can it?

Well, if you are a farmer in Zambia or a cotton grower in Brazil, try to compete against these subsidies. Remember your average daily wage is between $1-$2.

  • Europe and America subsidize EVERY COW about $2 a day. Japan pays its cows $7 a day.

  • America guarantees its cotton farmers a minimum price of $1.57 per kilo. The current price is about $1.20 per kilo. As you can imagine, overpaying for cotton leads to oversupply. This is then exported to other countries and depresses the worldwide price for cotton.

Developing nations have had enough of the G8 playing unfair. They've given the G8 until December to fix the rules or they're taking their ball and going home. The G8 meeting at Gleneagle would be the perfect location for a breakthrough announcement. (hint, hint, nudge, nudge)

The UN expects that an additional $100 Billion dollars needs to flow into the coffers of developing nations to halve absolute poverty by 2015. There is no way direct aid or debt cancellation will cover that. Only more freer and fairer trade will bring that kind of money into the developing nations. Don't take my word on. Listen to The Economist.

As usual, if you agree with what I'm saying, call or write someone with some power to change things.