Europe’s War On Africa

A Centre for the New Europe study finds that EU trade policy is having a devastating effect on Africa:

  • 6,600 people die every day in the world because of the trading rules of the EU. That is 275 people every hour.
  • In other words, one person dies every 13 seconds somewhere in the world – mainly in Africa – because the European Union does not act on trade as it talks.
  • If Africa could increase its share of world trade by just one per cent, it would earn an additional £49 billion a year. This would be enough to lift 128 million people out of extreme poverty. The EU’s trade barriers are directly responsible for Africa’s inability to increase its trade and thus for keeping Africa in poverty.
  • If the poorest countries as a whole could increase their share of world exports by five per cent, that would generate £248 billion or $350 billion, raising millions more out of extreme poverty.

Protectionist trade barriers are profoundly immoral – they raise prices for the citizens of the state that implements them (and remember that it is the poor that have the least abillity to manage such chances) and it ensures that the Third World continues to be mired in poverty and hopelessness.

The EU is a key market for Africa, and the EU’s unwillingness to open their markets to African trade in any significant amount is killing far more innocents each day than the war on Iraq did through its duration. Trade barriers represent little more than neocolonialism in a new form, and such immoral, unethical, and dangerous policies should be ended for the good of the people of Europe and those in Africa.

10 thoughts on “Europe’s War On Africa

  1. So to get Africa out of poverty, the EU needs to get plunge itself into poverty. Kill two birds with one stone, eh?

  2. If opening trade caused poverty North Korea would be the richest country on Earth and Hong Kong would still be a craggy pile of rocks.

    Except in the real world, North Korea is a hellhole and Hong Kong is richer than Croesus despite a complete lack of natural resources.

    Remember, studies of trade have shown that there is a massive statistical correlation between free trade and economic growth. (A .85 confidence level for statisticians.)

    Moreover, Europe is not dependent on farming for its economy, had hasn’t been for decades.

    Trade works like this: Europe sells food to Africa. Africans stop dying. More living Africans mean more productivity and less instability. Less instability means better markets for European manufactured goods like Siemens mobile phones, Volvo cars, and the like. (Also that means that Europeans pay lower prices for food, have more of a selection, and have more disposable income to spend on other goods.)

    This notion that free trade causes economic harm is an argument that is transparently wrong and completely misinformed. Protectionism is a sure-fire way to grow world instability and limit economic growth.

  3. This is so idiotic is hardly merits a retort, but I’ll take the bait. All nations operate at least some extent on self-interest. It is not in Europe’s self-interest to see it’s agriculture sector be priced out of existence by free trade any more than it’s in America’s self-interest to see the global economy price its steel and manufacturing industries out of existence, despite the relentless free market pep talks of buffoonish ideologues like yourself (when you’re to the right of George Bush, you know you’re a certifiable nut).

    Suggesting that European nations’ trying to salvage their agriculture sector is tantamount to African genocide is a new low even by your clunky standards. If “open markets” override national interest as far as goods and services, shouldn’t they also apply to defense? Shouldn’t Americans feel just as guilty of slaughtering African for not providing American troop presence in every African village as the Europeans should feel guilty about “starving them through protectionism”?

    Obviously, it’s not in the American government’self-interest to defend Africa’s people from their own government except in extreme circumstances…just as it’s not in France or Germany’s self-interest (or America’s) to allow our agriculture economies be obliterated on the premise that free markets on food will “feed the world and clean up corrupt governments.” As hard as it to educate the classroom dunce, I continue to try to expand your vocabulary to include the term “national self-interest” even though you just don’t seem to get it.

    The irony is that as much as you accuse Europe of bloody murder because of protectionist food policy, the likelihood is far greater than an African terrorist will see things differently. I wager that you are far more likely to be sitting in an office building watching a jet hijacked by an African terrorist approaching you than your French or German counterpart would be.

  4. If opening trade caused poverty North Korea would be the richest country on Earth

    Uhhh…. ok. We’ll pretend that makes sense I guess.

    Remember, studies of trade have shown that there is a massive statistical correlation between free trade and economic growth.

    I never said otherwise.

    This notion that free trade causes economic harm is an argument that is transparently wrong and completely misinformed.

    What the hell are you talking about? It’s not overall economic harm I’m worried about. Exporting labor to the third world is incredibly profitable. To bad I’ll never get to see any of that money. Someday when your job gets exported you’ll maybe understand.

    Europe sells food to Africa.

    We’re not talking about exports from Europe to Africa, we’re talking about African food imports to Europe.

    Even if we were talking about European food exports to Africa, why the hell does it even need to be sold to them? If you want African economic development so badly why don’t you just give them the food and let them keep thier money for other things until they’ve reached such a state where they’re workers earn on par with the rest of the world? I seriously doubt that either Europe’s economy or ours is going to keel over and die without the African food market.

    Now I’m no economist, but that seems perfectly reasonable to me…

    Note: my first comment was not intended to start an economic arguement. Indeed I’m quite disapointed that you missed my point. 🙂

  5. I’ll be touching the "free trade costs jobs" argument sometime today… suffice it to say the argument about the Third World taking American jobs doesn’t match the hard numbers on the issue.

  6. so all of this is Europe’s fault???
    right now, I just want one thing: that europe never fall in such a brainwashing type of government.
    ce soir, jay, tu me dégoutes. Je prefere ne pas en rajouter tellement ton aveuglement est absurde, et tellement ton hypocrisie est infecte.
    Il ne faut pas regarder la paille dans l’oeil du voisin, mais la poutre qui est dans le sien.
    Bush asks for 87 Mds dollars for weapons, and it’s Europe’s fault if Africans are starving???

  7. Europeans have to pay twice for their trade barriers: On the one side they have to pay higher prices for food, because there are guaranteed minimum prices and it is cheaper to produce many kinds of food outside europe. On the other hand they will have to pay taxes that will go into subsidies for exporting european overproduction. But it is unlikely that european politicans will act accordingly because the farmer’s lobby is well organized and able to put pressure on the right men.

    As far as I know the United States also impose high taxes on food imports and heavily subside their farmers. For Japan applies the same. Welcome in the club of the free-trade-hypocrites.

  8. all right then: next time you want to criticize Europe, just make sure the US are not doing the same…How can US farm subsidies not starve Africans when European subsidies do?

  9. US farm subsidies tend to hurt South America more than Africa for simple reasons of geography – Africa is closer to Europe and South America is closer to the US.

    The other reason is that Africa is far worse off than South America. South America doesn’t have rampant AIDS infection rates and many South American countries aren’t dependent on agricultural imports for survival.

    I won’t justify US farm subsidies either. They should be abolished – however, the Common Agricultural Policy is a more odious set of subsidies because it specifically targets the poorest parts of the world with unfair trade restrictions.

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