We muddled through eight long years of constitution-stomping, environment-destroying and barely coherent English. Now, add cheese-snatching to that list — one of Bush’s last acts in office was to raise the tariff on Roquefort cheese by 300 percent. France’s AFP is reporting that the sharp tariff increase will mean that Roquefort will go up from $40 a kilo to $130 a kilo — a price that, it’s safe to say, nearly no one will pay.
In the tiny village of Roquefort, where the local economy is entirely dependent upon the cheese, the locals are up in arms, saying that America is one of the largest markets for Roquefort, purchasing about 450 tons annually and that this tariff hike puts their livelihoods at risk.
This is part of a trade war bouncing back and forth between the US and the EU that started in 1988 when Europe banned the import of US beef raised on growth hormones. Typical! We want to stuff hormone-laden, mass-produced, Frankenstein meat down the throats of the world, and when we’re thwarted, we punish the import of this small, artisanal, regional cheese. Yay, America.
Martin Malvy, president of the cheese’s home region, has sent a (sealed) box of Roquefort to President Obama, in hopes that he will overturn the tariff hike. Yes, I’m sure he’ll get right on that after he deals with Israel/Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and the economy.
[AFP via Serious Eats]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 20, 2009