Wednesday, May 23, 2007

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Oh, I'm already feeling the love of Sarkozy's pro-American policies

George Parker and Adam Jones explain in the Financial Times why my post title is drenched in sarcasm:

Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, warned the world on Wednesday night that he expected Europe to take a much tougher stance in global trade talks and would not allow his country’s farmers to be sold “at the lowest possible price”.

Mr Sarkozy, on his first presidential visit to Brussels, called on Europe to “protect” its citizens, buying them time to adapt to the pressures of globalisation.

His comments suggest he will pursue an assertive French agenda in Europe that could put him in conflict with free traders including Angela Merkel, German chancellor, and Gordon Brown, incoming UK prime minister.

Mr Sarkozy’s passionate defence of French farmers will concern Europe’s trade partners who hoped he might be more flexible in his approach to cutting EU farm tariffs than Jacques Chirac, his predecessor.

The French president has previously criticised the European Commission for offering too many concessions on agriculture during world trade talks. On Wednesday night he said: “It is goodbye to naivety.” He said he would not allow cuts to support for European farmers while their US counterparts benefited from the same policies, adding: “I’m not going to sell agriculture to get a better opening for services.”

posted by Dan on 05.23.07 at 11:34 PM


A French polititian protecting French farmers? Will wonders never cease?

posted by: mikeyes on 05.23.07 at 11:34 PM [permalink]

A French polititian protecting French Farmers?

Will wonders never cease?

posted by: mikeyes on 05.23.07 at 11:34 PM [permalink]

France is a very wonderful country. Its stores, even its hypermarchés, carry a wide variety of products that I have not seen elsewhere in Europe. I fondly remember buying bottles of cloudy apple cider (real cider) (from normandy) at the local Mamut while on an extended stay in Strassbourg. Can't find it anywhere else.

France does not seem to want for good food, unique food, at relatively good prices. I would bet that part of that is its policy of sustaining a robust and diverse (ugh, two buzz words) agricultural sector in spite of Eurocracy and globalization enthusiasm.

posted by: Mitchell Young on 05.23.07 at 11:34 PM [permalink]


Thanks for the info. I don't automatically think free-trade good, two-legs bad anymore. I respect Dr. Drezner's opinions are read here frequently, but I will wait and see just how France fares under Sarkowzy.

posted by: jdwill on 05.23.07 at 11:34 PM [permalink]

Dan Drezner,

Why do you think that any of Sarkozy´s domestic policies should be trying to get the approval of the USA? Is it so difficult to understand that - maybe - European elections are mainly about European domestic issues and not about the USA? And that we don´t think that the USA are the center of the universe? And that we don´t think that every vote should be cast following US public opinion? Simply put, if we choose a new government, we do it for "our" reasons, not for any US reasons.

Mind you, we´d like to avoid the current account and trade deficits of the US right now. :)

posted by: Detlef on 05.23.07 at 11:34 PM [permalink]

"free-trade good, two-legs bad"

This is the blood oath that US political scientists must sign before they get their doctorate so that they can pretend they are economists ("paradigmn envy"). Most economists sign as well, but they do permit some heterodox thought.

As for Mr Sarkozy, the "buying time to adapt to the pressures of globalization" means something like 2 or 3 millenia.

The two biggest fairy tales in the entire trade debate are and have been as long as I can remember are "buying time for adjustment" and "trade adjustment assistance." The "time" is the first is eternity, the "assistance" in the 2nd is the shovel they lend you to dig your grave.

posted by: Gene on 05.23.07 at 11:34 PM [permalink]

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