9 NOVEMBER 2016
ICSA president Patrick Kent has said that Irish and European politicians who favour unfair free trade deals which hurt ordinary people but benefit big business need to pay close attention to the lessons of the US election result.
“Free trade at the expense of thousands of livelihoods is now reaping its own reward. There is a salutary lesson here for those who think that EU beef farmers can be sacrificed with successive deals on CETA, TTIP and Mercosur. Neither the EU Commission nor its politicians have a mandate to sell out the EU beef sector for apparent gains for multinational corporations.”
“ICSA is ramping up its campaign against hundreds of thousands of tons of cheap beef flooding EU markets which is what will happen if we keep trying to do unbalanced trade deals. Meanwhile, we are travelling the world trying to find new markets for beef and sheep, so far with minimal success, and almost all in locations where beef and lamb prices are lower than in Europe. Yet we are conceding ground recklessly in trying to do trade deals to allow more and more imports of cheap beef from all over the world which will undermine an already fragile beef price in Europe.”
“The pandering to big business has got to stop. The EU Commission and all EU and national politicians need to stop looking for excuses and get tough with multinational retailers, food and drink processors and input suppliers who, between them, are driving our beef, sheep and tillage farmers to despair and over the edge.”
“I don’t for one minute suggest that Donald Trump will be a panacea for all ills, but it is clear that normal politics needs to shape up very quickly and figure out why so many ordinary people are voting for change, even if that change is something as unpalatable as Mr Trump.”