In a bit of perfidy certainly worthy of the UN, though it's being perpetrated by the EU, we get the latest groin kick to the developing world from "civilized humanitarians." Sure, it's no Oil-for-Fraud or Sex-for-Food, but the EU's newest inequity is a real up-and-comer in the race for the moral basement.
Thanks to samizdata.net for the pointer to this article from The Scotsman
Money quote: "TSUNAMI-struck Thailand has been told by the European Commission that it must buy six A380 Airbus aircraft if it wants to escape the tariffs against its fishing industry."
At eureferendum.blogspot.com, they note, "The aircraft will cost Thailand some £1.3 billion – nearly the amount that all 25 EU members states have pledged in tsunami aid to the whole affected region."
I believe trade relieves the people of developing nations from crushing poverty. Not just once- like a food drop- but for their lifetimes and their children's lifetimes. But it doesn't work if we won't let them be competitive or force them to spend their relief money on bloated expenditures that don't benefit infrastructure or public health.
Although America is not currently strongarming people who are still damp from the flooding into buying luxury liners instead of food, our own gargantuan (97%) tariffs on the Thai fishing industry are no credit to us.
I love the shrimpies! Protectionism be damned. Bring on the prawns!