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Victory for Zepp-LaRouche:
Experts Admit `Free Trade on the Ropes!'

June 21, 2008 (EIRNS)—It is a personal victory for Helga Zepp-LaRouche that international "experts" and observers of the global food disaster are now forced to admit exactly what she said immediately following the June 3-5 FAO conference in Rome—that free trade is dead. Arvind Subramanian, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, agrees. He told the Sydney Morning Herald that "trade as the route to food security—that idea is on the ropes."

Mrs. LaRouche had observed that while the June 3-5 FAO conference in Rome didn't dump the axioms of free trade and globalization, a revolt of many governments against those axioms was visible there, encouraged by the intervention of the LaRouche movement. Under the headline "Food Shortages Curb Global Appetite for Free Trade," the June 20 Sydney Morning Herald reflects the degree to which, and how quickly, that rebellion is expanding.

"The current crisis has shown the limits of free trade to provide food, analysts say," the Herald observes. "Leaders of developing nations including the Philippines, Gambia and El Salvador now say the only way to nourish their people is to grow more food themselves, rather than rely on cheap imports," it adds, noting that "the backlash may sink global trade talks...and lead to the return of high agricultural tariffs and subsidies around the world." Arthur Yap, the Philippines Agriculture Minister, is quoted from Rome on June 4, stating that "for a long time, it made sense to buy food from the international market." But now, "the situation has changed."

Indeed. That's why U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer is reportedly very disheartened, according to the Herald, insisting that "we need to open up markets, so you can have the free flow of food where you need it." Schafer apparently hasn't noticed that the Doha Round is dead.

Bakary Trawally, Permanent Secretary of Gambia's Department of State for Agriculture asserted "there is no security if your food basket is coming from another country. If they close it off...you would be in trouble." Many developing-sector officials say they intend to use subsidies to boost domestic production. Guatemala's Agriculture Minister Raul Robles underscored that "a few years ago, it was thought it was better to buy food in other countries, but that whole policy has failed." Guatemala's government has now decided to help its own farmers produce more food.