EIR LEAD EDITORIAL FOR MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2022
Fighting Famine Clashes with the (WTO) Rules-Based Order; Make Way for a New Development Architecture!
April 24, 2022 (EIRNS)—A major clash is now out in the open, between those nations and leaders backing measures to produce more food, to prevent famine, as opposed to those financial and political interests, centered in the Trans-Atlantic, insistent on their rules-based and sanctions-based order, for more war and hunger. The informal roster of those committed to providing more food ranges from India, to Argentina, to Africa, and includes all the farmers in Europe, the U.S. and India, who have been protesting for years, just for the right to produce food, as well as those in Russia and China.
Those opposed to the agriculture measures required to produce more food, include the U.S. government, the European Commission, G7, and financial networks in the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization and others, especially hiding behind “green” and non-food “human rights” concerns.
India put the question on the world agenda April 22 in Washington, D.C. A joint press conference was held there by two top Indian representatives, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Taranjit Singh Sandhu. They spoke at the end of the main week of the annual spring summit of the IMF/World Bank. Sitharaman reported that she had told various IMF/World Bank meetings that “countries like India, which have potential for exporting agricultural production, particularly cereals, have faced difficulties with the WTO.” She made her point politely, but the message was stern: India expects any WTO obstruction to end, now.
The “difficulties” she referred to, include the WTO rules banning or limiting the right of governments to support their farmers, to maintain food reserves, to export, and to even attempt to have food self-sufficiency. India, China and other nations have lost several big legal battles against Washington over WTO rules used against them in recent years. WTO rules say that a nation is out of order, if it supports their farmers, because this “distorts trade” and harms farmers in other countries. (The rationalization since 1995, when the WTO went into operation, is that food security comes only from “access to world markets,” not your own national agricultural productivity.)
Now it is a worldwide matter of life and death for potentially over a billion people, to dump the deadly WTO rules.
However, the anti-production, anti-India narrative from the U.S. is fierce. The line is that India is using the excuse of feeding needy countries, in order to subsidize its own farmers, and screw U.S. producers. For example, an April 20 story in Agri-Pulse, a U.S. farming mainstream media outlet, is headlined, “India Tries To Use Ukraine War To Justify Subsidized Crop Stockpiling.” It states, “India’s subsidized wheat and rice stockpiling has made the country’s government a foe of U.S. wheat and rice farmers, but now the country’s prime minister is trying to use the farming crisis in Ukraine to justify its efforts to prop up domestic farmers by saying it could come to the rescue of grain-deprived countries.”
The reality is that farmers should be supported everywhere, to produce like crazy, given the immediate need. At the same time, longer-term measures must be launched to upgrade agriculture and food security in all nations. Washington and Brussels oppose that.
The G7 instigator of a proposed “Alliance for Global Food Security” is taking swipes at China for keeping wheat stocks. German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze was in Washington this past week pushing her Alliance proposal, already circulated to the G7, for which Germany has the rotating presidency this year. Details have not been released, but Schulze said her plan is modeled on “COVAX,” and calls on donor nations to give funds and target the neediest nations to receive food help. She said that these needy nations must know they should blame Russia for the hunger crisis. Schulze is now taking her whom-to-blame message to Lebanon, Ethiopia and the African Union. She does not mention production.
Meantime, key nations are reacting to reality, not to deadly narratives. In Argentina, statements were made over the weekend, against sanctions on Russia, and asserting that food security is going to be a major issue at the June Summit of the Americas, in Los Angeles, California. Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero has just been in Rome, where he met with the heads of the UN FAO and WFP, and he will now proceed to India. Cafiero said April 23, that Argentina is committed, including working with CELAC and in other ways, to do everything possible against hunger.
These developments concerning the food crisis are just part of the worldwide realignment underway, as the conflict persists in Ukraine, where the NATO bloc is pouring in arms and spinning filthy operations, to the effect of preventing negotiations and settlement, creating danger of all-out nuclear war. This underlying dynamic remains in force, while diplomatic moves this week include UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visiting Ankara, on April 25, then Moscow, and lastly Kyiv.
The role of the Schiller Institute is critical in serving as an open policy forum toward the convoking of a conference to bring about a new security and development architecture. This idea was presented in coverage on April 18 in China by the English-language, national Beijing Review, of the April 9 Schiller Institute conference. The article, headlined, “International Call for a New Security Architecture To Cope with Global Issues,” quoted Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and other speakers. Reporter Li Fangfang wrote, “Despite differences on particular issues, all speakers concurred that only an international security and development architecture totally different from the existing one can make the necessary process tangible.” Spread the mobilization.