France – prime obstacle for liberalizing agriculture support

In an opinion piece today in Le Figaro, Drieu Godefridi, director of L’institut Hayek in Brussels, points out that what is halting negotiations on the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round is the attitude of French farmers and policymakers — “Libéralisation de l’agriculture: l’obstacle ultime, c’est la France.”

Godefridi notes that the poor developing countries of the world are the ones who will suffer because they can’t effectively compete in world markets with agriculture heavily subsidized in the rich countries.

He brings up the example of New Zealand, which liberalized its own agricultural policies two decades ago and saw its farmers benefiting. (See CEI’s example of New Zealand’s cutbacks in agricultural support here, in the context of reforming the U.S. sugar program.)