Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Vaguely unethical

Thailand was absolutely hammered by the tsunami last month. But the EU said it will not relieve tariffs on Thai shrimp (Thailand's major fishing industry) unless the Thai purchase 6 of the uberjumbo Airbus A380s -- a cost of 780,000,000GBP or about $1.48 billion. Thai shrimp ("prawns" in the UK) are taxed at a rate of 12%.

And the US? Well, we have not demanded a massive airplane purchase, but US tariffs on Thai shrimp are 97% because the US is "protecting" its shrimp-catching industry from the immeasurably more efficient Thai shrimpers.

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