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Notes of lunch with official in a badly-run country at their golf club. First course steak and chips.
The need for national insurance is not a fit subject to mention to a senior official, nor any
kind of welfare state, he says. His people do not need such things.
If a tariff protects another country where goods are more expensive because of national insurance costs, that tariff should be removed; it is an injustice against sweatshop owners and their need for workers in badly-run countries to remain poor. In that sense, poverty is also caused by unjust EU tariffs he says.
Poverty in the home country is caused by everyone in the world but its present government. Government in the past or future, maybe. Government abroad, certainly.
Government at present is going quite well - look at the Mercedez!
Corruption is not a fit subject to mention to a senior official.
Public services at home are subsidised by something called "The North", which sums-up donor countries as a kind of giant cow to be milked by "The South". (Asked for more detail about "The North", it contains impossible wealth and cartoon characters who go to catwalks to see fashion shows of luxury goods. This man has been to Harrods so he knows).
Poverty is caused by insufficient donations from the North: he doesn't just want unfair competition for his sweatshop goods, he wants donations too. But not too much education - that will only make the staff start asking for things. Maybe a faith group from the north can provide a bit of primary education.
Notes during pudding. Non-tariff barriers.
Bangladesh already has zero-tariff access to European markets to boost development.
That is an injustice too. If you are in Bangladesh, it requires a need for adjustment payments to cope in case some other country is awarded a zero tariff. The logic of special pleading goes on...
There is a glut of some goods because his country produces too many. That effects the terms of trade unfairly and is a cause of poverty.
Legal difficulties would never halt important business at home, but some goods produced at home are not as described nor fit for purpose, causing legal disputes in The North. That is an unfair non-tariff barrier and requries compensation.
EU governments might not care, but producers in the EU can sometimes just afford a case under anti-dumping legislation before they go bust, based on a system of export subsidies which are not disputed.. This is a non-tariff barrier and requires compensation for legal costs and lost sales from "the north".
Human rights. These are not fit for conversation: the interview is at an end. Please pay for our steak and chips on the way out and send more cows. Thanks for the Ethical Fashion campaign to help sell our leathergoods. No lift home in the Merc.
Note to self: put this on expenses as head office says I have to write a book supporting the ideas. The one that's going to be called "Rigged Rules and Double Standards : Trade, Globalisation, and the Fight Against Poverty."
 


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