Subsidies, Glorious Subsidies

The EU is being urged to take action to stop a biofuel trading scam that exploits US agricultural subsidies and undermines the fight against global warming.

Up to 10% of biofuel exports from the US to Europe are believed to be part of the rogue scheme reaping big profits for agricultural trading firms.

The "splash and dash" scam involves shipping biodiesel from Europe to the US where a dash of fuel is added, allowing traders to claim 11p a litre of US subsidy for the entire cargo. It is then shipped back and sold below domestic prices, undercutting Europe\’s biofuel industry.

Any and every system of subsidies for a specific product is vulnerable to these sorts of scams.

It should be noted that none of this is illegal either: it might not be what the planners had intended, but that\’s a rather different matter.

But what should actually be done about it?

The essentials of the situation are that the American taxpayer is subsidising, to the tune of 11 p per litre, the EU consumer. The correct reaction is therefore obvious.

Why, thank you very much you saps. Please send a few more shiploads.


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