Actual free trade – is actually free trade. Free from import tariffs, import limits and government subsidies.
It takes every participant reducing its market warping – for it to be actual progress toward actual free trade. Everyone reducing their tariffs, limits and subsidies.
If a country here or there unilaterally disarms – they are committing domestic economic suicide. Undercutting their domestic producers in the name of fake free trade – is titanically stupid policy.
Even more so – when other players are expanding upon their anti-free-trade practices.
“Brazil has canceled a 10-year-old ban on sugarcane cultivation in its Amazon rainforest and central wetlands….”
When it comes to the global sugar trade – Brazil is already the worst of all actors:
“Brazil subsidizes its sugar industry to the tune of more than $4 billion per annum.
“Think that massive subsidization doesn’t help them on the global market? There are more than 100 nations that hawk sugar internationally.
“Brazil – thanks to its huge government help – controls more than half of the entire market.
“Nothing ‘free’ about that trade.”
Now, I am an actual environmentalist. I want to have humans not do blatantly obvious bad things. You know, like….
“Eight of the top 10 contributors were in Asia….”
For our domestic environmentalists – the US isn’t an Asian country.
I am not a Leftist environmentalist. I am not mindlessly attacking Brazil in the name of saving the planet.
The Amazon rainforest – is actually, pretty much, a jungle. Leftist environmentalists try to pretend they two are vastly different. There are some variations – but none of any real significance.
But its easier to get people to protest for – and donate to – save a “rainforest” than it is a “jungle.” So they rebranded everything to “rainforest.”
(See also: “Wetlands” and “Swamps.”)
Our planet is not suffering a shortage of jungles. And the Amazon jungle – is the largest jungle on the planet. Carving a little out to allow farmers to farm – doesn’t really raise my hackles.
Environmentally speaking. From an actual free sugar trade perspective – this is even more exceedingly bad news out of the world’s leading producer of actual free sugar trade bad news.
As we just mentioned – Brazil cheats the global trade market to the tune of $4 billion per year. Which means Brazilian sugar sellers – can artificially charge $4 billion per year less.
Which screws US farmers. And every farmer in every one of the 100+ countries that attempt to compete with uber-subsidized Brazil in the global sugar trade market.
“(O)ther countries’ subsidies – are stealth weapons killing us from within. They are an innumerable armada of Trojan Horses – which we have been willingly bringing inside our gates….
“I’m all for free trade. Right up until it hurts our nation.
“When the health of free trade and our nation are in conflict – the nation must prevail.
“Importing government subsidies – undercuts our domestic producers of…everything that is subsidized elsewhere.
“So millions of domestic producers – have been thusly driven either overseas…or into extinction. Taking with them tens of millions of domestic jobs.
“That ain’t good for our nation.
“Oh – and importing government subsidies…isn’t free trade.
“So this murder of tens of millions of jobs – isn’t the result of free trade doing its worst. It’s all a giant fake ‘free trade’ lie.”
Our objective – the planet’s objective – should be getting Brazil to reduce its massive subsidies.
That doesn’t seem to be what’s currently in store.
Brazil reducing its massive subsidies – would mean a reduction in Brazil sugar production. Because that’s how government money works.
If Brazil was planning on reducing their massive subsidies – they wouldn’t be carving new sugar farms out of the Amazon.
They’d be converting existing sugar farms – to other crops.
Which means we – and the rest of the planet – have some more actual free trade work to do.
This first appeared in Red State.