Trade, Development, and Immigration

Farmers Should Serve Customers, Not Politicians

Matthew Lesh writes for The Telegraph

IEA Director of Public Policy and Communications Matthew Lesh has written in The Daily Telegraph arguing that while farmers are suffering the consequences of bad regulation, recent calls for subsidies and trade restrictions are not the answer.

Matthew wrote:

“It has undoubtedly been a difficult few years for many farmers, who have struggled with higher fuel and energy costs, as well as increased fertiliser and animal feed prices. 

“Nevertheless, the protesters are reportedly particularly concerned about the threat of post-Brexit trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, which cut tariffs and reduce quotas on various agricultural goods. 

“These imports aren’t bad for food security – quite the opposite. The benefit of all this international trade is that in a poor year for domestic production, we can still access all the food we need by relying on diverse sources. 

“No other industry is entitled to large taxpayer funds just for existing.

“Food prices can be cheaper in Australia and New Zealand not only because they have a greater scale but also because the domestic subsidies were abolished in the 1980s.”

Read Matthew’s full piece here.