The quintessential French blue cheese found itself the unlikely focus of a trade war after the Bush administration took punitive action for the European Union’s ban on imports of US hormone-treated beef.
America imposed a 100 per cent import duty on a long list of EU products on Thursday, but singled roquefort out for a 300 per cent tariff.
Producers of what the French hail as the “king of cheeses” for its salty tang and creamy finish are furious at the move. They claimed that the action was a parting shot by a Bush administration still piqued by France’s opposition to the Iraq war and that President George W Bush had taken his final revenge against a nation once maligned by Americans as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”.
“Roquefort is a French symbol and we’re paying for its fame,” said Robert Glandieres, president of producers of the cheese, which is made in the Midi-Pyrenees region from sheep’s milk according to a 1,000-year-old tradition.
“Maybe the Bush administration indulged itself by making this decision just before it leaves – no doubt because we resisted it.”
He added that the new duty would “chase Roquefort out of the American market altogether”.
The newspaper Le Monde said that the US action meant that Mr Bush’s presidency “will end on yet another crisis”.
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9272/bushs-parting-shot-at-the-french/