Less than a week before it leaves office, the Bush administration has sparked anger across the Atlantic by tripling the import duty rate on roquefort cheese to 300%, a move which the US hopes will "shut down trade" in the sheep's milk product by making it prohibitively expensive.That will show those couple of dozen French farmers a thing or two.
The decision, part of Washington's attempts to force the EU into dropping its ban on hormone-treated beef, was greeted with disbelief by the French government and by farmers in the south-western Aveyron region who depend on the industry for their livelihoods.
"Maybe the Bush administration indulged itself by taking this decision just before it leaves," Robert Glandieres, president of the roquefort producers' group, told Reuters.
The tariff on roquefort, condemned as "incomprehensible and inadmissible" by the French government, will probably have a minimal effect, given exports to the US account for just 2% of annual sales. French farmers said it would mean "the end" for roquefort in the US and vowed to take "symbolic actions" in return.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
A Last Slap at the French
I know it's not a big thing but for some reason this epitomizes the small ugly aspects of the Bush administration. They wait until right until the end and then increase import duties on Roquefort cheese! What the hell is that all about? It would be different if it would actually have any other impact other than pissing off the French and hurting a few small farmers just a tiny bit. The U.S. accounts for maybe 2% of Roquefort cheese sales. The reason stated is even worse...to try and force the French to eat some of our hormone saturated and poison beef. Good for the French for not wanting their children eating crap and having their young girls mature at 9 years old. I don't often buy Roquefort but I'll make a point of spending some of my limited food budget on some just to spite them. I don't know why any self respecting Frenchman would eat American beef anyway when they have their glorious grass fed beef anyway.