Last week, this blog recommended that all entrepreneurs pay
attention to the world trade talks, and to the possible consequences of their
It might help to start with the questions relevant to the
individual entrepreneur: “Are these problems likely to continue? What will they
mean to my business? Is there anything I can do to improve my situation?”
The root of the problem – as ever with trade talks – is that
farmers demand privileges which would be unacceptable in any other business.
The current crisis is due to the Indian government insisting
on special measures to protect its agriculture. The Americans wanted to open up
the market, despite having just passed what EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson
called “one of the most reactionary farm bills in the history of the US”
...and, of course, the same EU is itself infamous for its
...all this at a time when world food prices are going up as
demand increases and supply is inadequate.
The bottom line is that the problem will remain so long as
all the governments are hypocritically trying to give their own farmers an
unfair advantage. A change in the US Presidency is unlikely to improve matters
since it was a Democratic Congress that passed that reactionary farm bill.
So entrepreneurs are likely to suffer a growing restriction
of world trade because of the privileges sought by farmers.
There are unlikely to be immediate changes, but we must plan
on the basis that we can no longer take growing international business for
Meanwhile, we need to make the most of the opportunities we
have while we have them.