Trump says EU and US should “drop all tariffs, barriers, and subsidies”

This is a classic example of why this publication says often that Trump is a mixed bag. He’s good on some things, and bad on others. He has been particularly bad on the tariff issue. Perhaps Trump has seen the light.

Thing is he is right. The European Union would never in a million years (?) actually give up their subsidies and other forms of protectionist trade policy. French farmers would light tractors on fire in Paris tomorrow if that happened. And Trump knows this.

However, that this idea is being introduced into the conversation at all is real progress. This should be pushed. Tariffs and subsidies are almost always forms of crony capitalism. So are bailouts for that matter.

It is worth noting that European Union agricultural policy is imposed at great cost to the developing world. The farmer lobby doesn’t want Africa to become the breadbasket (and banana basket) of Europe at much lower cost to consumers.

(From Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump said that the U.S. and the European Union should eliminate all tariffs, barriers and subsidies, with the bloc’s trade chiefs set to present him with proposals in that direction in a crunch meeting at the White House later Wednesday…

…Trump’s demand to eliminate subsidies may add a further complication in the talks, as agricultural aid has been a pillar of the EU since its creation, making cuts to European farm grants politically sensitive and explaining why policy revamps in the bloc have been done gradually over 20 years.

More generally, global tensions over agricultural trade have pitted rich countries such as the EU and the U.S. keen to protect their farmers against poorer nations seeking better access to prosperous markets. At the level of the World Trade Organization, talks on lowering barriers to farm commerce have traditionally been among the most contentious.

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