Toward New Models for the Scale and Practice of Agriculture, No. 2

Our first post, with an introduction to this series, is here. “Dumping grain on another country is a classic maneuver in economic warfare. When a country’s borders are opened by force or by choice, by structural adjustment or by neoliberal trade agreement, when tariffs and other forms of protectionism are finally scotched, heavily subsidized multinational agribusinesses can flood the new market with commodities at prices less than their production costs. That is, these companies are happy to sell their foodstuffs abroad at a loss. That doesn’t make sense, you say. Aren’t these guys in business for profit? They are indeed. The deficits are in actuality a cold-blooded calculation. The objective is to drive previously domestic sectors unable to compete with that kind of pricing, out of business. Once the mom-and-pop competition is rubbed out, Walmart-style, the multinationals, their competition cleared off the field, can impose what prices they please…

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