Farmers and other free trade opponents staged a protest in Brussels Friday to oppose the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership — an attempt to create a “single market”, or more specifically to reduce tariffs and other regulatory barriers to trade. This, of course, is terrifying to the Europeans, who are used to protectionist policies that insulate their producers from competition — especially in agricultural markets.
Here’s what some of the protestors has to say:
Beneath all the bitching about food quality, or heritage, or tradition is the real issue: the agricultural producers of Europe are antediluvian in their methods of production, and no matter the quaintness of protecting their traditions of farming, they know they’ll get creamed by American (and even more so by Canadian by way of TAFTA) Big Agro. And how about that cheap Mexican labor? TAFTA might provide European countries with a better option that the work 30 hours, get paid for 40 nonsense of nations like France.
The complaints about corporatism are the typical socialist and union claptrap disguising the main concern: government technocrats would have a harder time regulating business and the markets to the benefit of their union or European corporate clients.