Election 2016

French Farmers Dump 90,000 Bottles Worth of Spanish Wine Because…Spanish!

Tale from the EU breakup? Or the future of a protectionist America?


Among the many wonders of the European Union was the creation of a vast, free trade zone in which member countries could more or less import and export goods with, er, impunity (not the right word, as it implies something negative about economic exchange).

French farmers, among the most-subsidized being on the planets, have long been mindful of any and all threats they believe might undermine their way of life. And so, this:

A group of French farmers stopped two Spanish tucks on Monday at the toll gate of Le Boulou in southern France near the border.

The farmers then dumped the wine the vehicles were transporting, according to the Spanish Federation of Freight Transportation (CETM).

The assault took place in front of television crews and French police who "allowed the demonstrators to act with impunity", the CETM, which represents truckers, said in a statement….

"These events, which unfortunately occur regularly, are a cause of concern for the Spanish government, as they represent a flagrant violation of several basic principles of the European Union, such as the free circulation of goods between member states," [the Spanish foreign minister] added.

According to local.fr, a news site, about 10 percent of French farms are on the brink of bankruptcy, which their owners blame on competition. In recent months, aggrieved farmers have taken similar actions against trucks carrying German and Spanish produce.

Spanish bulk wine generally sells for less in France because they are considered inferior goods. One hundred liters costs €30-40 ($34-45), which is about half of what domestic plonk goes for.

Corax news

This sort of anti-trade thinking is so European, right? It's a good thing that here in the good ol' U.S. of A. we understand gains from trade and both major parties understand that allowing cheaper goods into our markets allows us more and better choices, and to concentrate on higher-value goods and services that we're better at, right?

Or just substitute the United States for France and Mexico or China for Spain and pretend it's a story about all the major-party candidates still running for president, each of whom is anti-free-trade to greater or lesser degrees.

Hat tip: Corax, a phenomenal English-language, crowd-sourced, libertarian news aggregation site based in Sweden. Find them on Facebook, too. I cannot recommend this site highly enough, especially if you're interested in global news.

And with that, here's a Reason TV classic that looks at last night's big Democratic winner in Wisconsin, Bernie Sanders, who in 2011 waged a war on Chinese-made bobbleheads because, well, making bobbleheads of Millard Fillmore is a job for goddamn Americans, that's why!