Die Tyrannei von „King Cotton“

Die Amerikaner meinen häufig, dass die armen Länder einfach nur ihre Märkte öffnen müssten, damit größerer Wohlstand entstehen kann. Leider ist dies, was die Landwirtschaft betrifft, bloße Rhetorik. Die Vereinigten Staaten geben lediglich ein Lippenbekenntnis zu den Prinzipien des freien Marktes ab, begünstigen dabei aber Washingtoner Lobbyisten und Wahlkampfspender, die genau das Gegenteil fordern. Tatsächlich sind es Amerikas eigene Agrarsubventionen, die zumindest bis jetzt zum Scheitern der so genannten Doha-Entwicklungsrunde beigetragen haben, bei der neue Gelegenheiten für arme Länder geschaffen werden sollten, ihr Wachstum zu steigern.

Subventionen schaden Landwirten in Entwicklungsländern, weil sie zu höherem Ertrag führen – und zu niedrigeren globalen Preisen. Die Regierung Bush, die sich angeblich für freie Märkte überall auf der Welt einsetzt, hat in Wirklichkeit die Summe der Agrarsubventionen in den USA nahezu verdoppelt.

Das Problem lässt sich anhand von Baumwolle verdeutlichen. Ohne Subventionen würde es sich für Amerikaner nicht lohnen, viel Baumwolle zu produzieren; mit Subventionen sind die USA der größte Bauwollexporteur der Welt. Etwa 25.000 reiche amerikanische Baumwollfarmer teilen sich Subventionen im Wert von $ 3 bis $ 4 Milliarden – dabei geht ein Großteil des Geldes an eine geringe Anzahl von Empfängern. Das erhöhte Angebot drückt auf die Baumwollpreise und schadet allein in Afrika südlich der Sahara etwa 10 Millionen Bauern.

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