Two developments this week provided further illustrationthat the current NAFTA-WTO model of trade and globalization is fundamentallyflawed.
Exhibit B: The Bushadministration, in its final week in office, imposed tariffs of up to 300percent on French Roquefort cheese, and extended punitive tariffs on truffles,Irish oatmeal, Italian sparkling water and foie gras. The reason? In the 1990s,the Europe Union (EU) had banned the use of artificial hormones for raisingbeef in response to health concerns. The Clintonadministration, at the urging of giant agribusiness companies, challenged thismeasure at the WTO because it not only banned the chemicalsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ use by Europeanfarmers, but banned imports of artificial-hormone-raised beef. A WTO tribunal orderedthe EU to allow in the U.S.beef, and when EU officials, under threat of a massive consumer revolt,refused, the WTO authorized the U.S.to impose retaliatory sanctions. (Canada also sought and receivedsimilar authorization.)