PPrevious Articles 1
Previous Articles 2
Biography - F.A. Baron
Freedom to be Greedy
Farewell & Welcome
DA Response to Grenada
And, We were Misled
Local vs Privy Council
Thank You Dame Eugenia
Big Bad John
Travels and Travails
Trade Gap - USA & DA
In Case You Missed It
".. Your Love to Town"
Mad Men not to be trusted
Politics of Lies & Deception
Wide, Deep Transparency
Petrocaribe $ Bird Island
Nations Shall War No more
My Feeling of Insecurity
China, Admiration & Envy
Capitalism: Wounded ...
© Gordon Moreau
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
October 27, 2005 - Last issue we saw how in 2004 the US exported to us forty-one times more than it imported from us. In case you missed it that is worth pondering. I would hope that in the midst of excessive fete and party throughout the year we set aside some time for production and productivity. That hope extends to the trans-national corporations that fight to finance the fete and the party. Thank you but you should begin also to “sponsor” and reward production and productivity in agriculture, industry and services.
I got a number of reactions from the statistics, none more interesting than this one: a good buddy said to me that he always knew bananas brought in the foreign exchange which we spend on imports from the United States. But how valid is that statement? I returned to the stats to try to answer that.
The U.K. is the main importer of our bananas. It imported over EC$20m from Dominica in 2004, or 18% of our total exports. Look at data of our exports by principal trading partners for 2004:
OECS $ 22.7m
Rest of CARICOM 45.7
Other Caribbean Islands 15.4
United Kingdom 20.1
North America 3.4
Other Countries 4.2
The statistics show that our Caribbean neighbours buy 75% of our exports. Jamaica alone buys $22.5m or 20.2% of our total exports. And that is NOT bananas. It is more likely to be coconut products. Both in dollar terms and in percentage terms, Jamaica alone did better for us trade-wise than did the U.K. and the European Union combined.
Balance on visible trade with the U.K. was a negative $5.8m. But with Jamaica, Dominica had a positive balance of $17.5m, and with Antigua a positive balance of $9.8m, and with Guadeloupe a positive $4.9m.
These figures shout for themselves. Whatever data is presented and however clear, there are some people who will ignore the statistical significance and reach some other conclusion closer to the heart’s desire. We can continue to do so at our own risk.
In case you miss it the point is that in terms of our export trade our neighbours are more important to us than is popularly supposed.
* * * * *
In case you missed it, there was a “clash of political cultures” in the US Senate on May 17, 2005. That is how it was described. To me it was no clash of cultures. It was a British Member of Parliament, GEORGE GALLOWAY, demolishing a US Senate Committee.
The Senators had accused Galloway of corruption. They said he had benefited improperly in the Iraqi Oil For Food Programme. Galloway vehemently denied the allegations and for the time being defended himself in language that defies paraphrase:
“Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader, and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one- and neither has anyone on my behalf.
“Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you had already found me guilty….
“I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as “many meetings” with Saddam Hussein.
“As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr. Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back in to the country – a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defense made of his.
“I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and American governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce.
“You will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other member of the British or American governments do.”
I wish I were present to see Christ step up to the microphone, and with a touch of arrogance, make the world’s most powerful defense of oneself before Pilate. I am reminded that in certain matters of religion and articles of faith, good sense or intellect ought not to be applied. That defense simply did not and will not happen.
Mr. Galloway went to the US Senate and vanquished the lions in their own den, so to speak.
In my opinion it was one of the greatest defenses in history: greater than that of St. Paul before King Agrippa; and more effective than “the love that dares not speak its name” defense of OSCAR WILDE before the English courts in the late 1800’s.
In case you missed it, I commend Galloway to your reading. The whole statement is on line.