Protectionism is a scary thing during a global downturn. A bunch of nations trying to “protect” their own interests can turn a bad situation into a worse one.
New Zealand wants to fight off what it sees as protectionism – namely subsidies for dairy farmers in Europe. However, although there is too much protectionism out there I’m not sure our argument against this set of policies is watertight.
If we think that the current shock to dairy prices is temporary, and that dairy prices will come back when the current massive increase in supply works through the system, then it makes sense for Europe to temporarily subsidise farmers in the face of a MASSIVE CREDIT CONSTRAINT.
Industries all around the world are struggling to sort out their cash flow because of a freeze up in lending. If the firms are still profitable given the expectations of future prices, then it makes sense for domestic government to prevent the industries from failing.
Do you think this type of intervention is defendable – discuss 😉