Rich Farmers versus the World’s Poor
According to the presidents of Mali and Burkina Faso, if the United States and other developed countries more consistently followed the tenets of free trade, the world’s poor would benefit.
Your Farm Subsidies Are Strangling Us
After too many years of Africa’s being pushed to the global background, it’s heartening to see the world’s attention being focused 011 our continent. support both financial and otherwise-is certainly needed to help combat the seven: poverty and disease gripping our nations, But first and foremost, Africa needs to be allowed to take its destiny into its hands Only self-reliance and economic growth and development will allow Africa to become a full member of the world community With the creation of the New Economic Partnership for African Development in 2001, African leaders have committed themselves to following the principles of good governance and a market economy Nothing is more central to this goal than participating in world trade. As the presidents of two of Africa’s least developed nations Mali and Burkina in the trading system and to take on . s rights and obligations Cotton is our ticket into world market. Its production is crucial to economic development in lest and Central Africa, as well as to the livelihood of millions of people there. accounts for up to 40 percent of export revenues and 10 percent of domestic product in our two countries, as well as in Benin and Chad This vital economic sector in our countries is seriously threatened by agricultural subsidies granted by rich countries to their cotton producers. According the International Cotton Advisory Committee, cotton subsidies amount to about $5.8 billion in the production yea,. of 2001 to 2002, nearly equal the amount of cotton trade for the same period. Such subsidies world wide overproduction and distort cotton depriving poor African countries of their only comparative advantage ill world trade America’s 25,000 cotton farmers received more in subsidies=-some $3 bi/hon-than the entire economic output of Burkina Faso, where two million people depend Oil cotton. further, United States subsidies are concentrated on just 10 percent of its cotton farmers. Thus, the payments to 2,500 relatively well-off farmers have the unintended but nevertheless very real effect of impoverishing some 10 million rural poor people in West and Central Africa Our demand is simple apply free trade rules not to those products that are interest to the rich and powerful, but also to those products where poor count have a proven comparative advantage. We know that the world will not ignore our pica for a fair playing field. The World Trade Organization has said it is committed to addressing the problems of United States has convinced us that a free market economy provides the best opportunities for members of the world community, Let us translate these principles into charities or governments to alleviate poverty were counterproductive, he argued, because they merely allowed the poor to have more children, placing even greater strains on society’s productive capabilities.
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