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Мichael Delyagin: Joining the WTO on Enslaving Terms Seems to Me the Gravest Crime

Мichael Delyagin: Joining the WTO on Enslaving Terms Seems to Me the Gravest Crime
12.02.2013

Source: «Mir Novostey»

Medvedev held meeting on our agriculture. Now it turns out that our joining the WTO became trouble for our agricultural producers. For example, pig-breeding: decrease in the import duties led to growth of import by 50%. The Tambov region reminded of terrifying quality of import which replaced domestic meat on the shelves – they say that now either direct support, or price regulation is necessary. The head of the Ministry of Agriculture asked for additional 42 billion from the budget to rescue landowners this year...

- What is necessary to do that our agriculture wouldn’t die off?

- Temporary compensation of harm caused by enslaving terms of accession to the WTO won't help, even if compensation will be full (though even now, as soon as it’s possible to judge, underestimated indicators are mentioned). After all to develop further not compensation of losses, but giving chance to earn profit is necessary.

Joining of Russia the WTO, and high-ranking American politicians honestly and openly spoke about it, is directed on transferring of profit of the Russian producers to foreign, including American ones.

As soon as I can judge liberal reformers even theoretically didn’t put such task as "to make it so that our agriculture wouldn’t die off finally", when they pulled Russia to the WTO. On the contrary, attempts of the Ministry of Agriculture to resist that terrible adventure destroying major part of the national economy were derided and led to exile of rebellious heads even at the highest level.

- Why did we join the WTO if now, according to the prime minister, "Village is more important to us, than the WTO"?

- You shouldn't scoff at the Prime Minister Medvedev, excessive attentiveness to his public statements which he unmercifully utters almost every day inevitably turns into such mockery.

I remind that liberal reformers were the first who invented accession to the WTO in 2000, idea appeared when they had to show their solvency and capacity, "to give the result" at any cost, but implementation of standard liberal recipes when the country didn't forget horrors of default threatened with immediate socio-political explosion.

As liberal reformers had no idea of essence of the WTO (their statements convincingly prove it), they believed that accession to it could remind accession to ordinary international organization and be fast and painless, having become at the same time evident result of their activity and efficiency.

Thus, motivation was first of all career and egoistical.

Joining the WTO by Russia met interests of global business – fighting for it and going on terrible concessions, liberal reformers by deeds proved their fidelity to the West, not to the country and got its support – at least informational - trendy and political.

Besides, they got support of the Russian importers and structures serving their interests as well as oligarchs who used rhetoric of the WTO to cancel restrictions constraining their business "on the quiet". Thus, for example, they cancelled currency control that repeatedly raised destructive consequences of crisis of 2008 and system of standards that made considerable part of the Russian production simply dangerous to the consumer.

Many Russian businessmen start speaking in support of the WTO simply to become own fellows for the West and to receive its political protection against accruing wave of power racket.

- How to combine agriculture support with the rules of the WTO which we still do not know well?

- Rules of the WTO permit state help without restrictions in the form of investments into village and agrarian and industrial complex infrastructure as a whole, they also permit such types of activity as selection of seeds and breeding animal husbandry. Here Russia has enormous tasks: destructions are almost worse, than after the war. Correction of consequences of liberal reforms in these spheres can slow down reduction of agricultural production for some time, though it isn't capable to compensate destructive consequences of this liberal diversion.

- Since 2001 you have been persistently insisted that destroyed by liberal reforms Russia doesn’t need joining the WTO and that it is fraught for the country with problems. It happened. What other problems will Russia face as a result of joining the WTO? What branch? Or we will cope with it and learn how to get benefit being the WTO member country?

- Joining the WTO on enslaving terms provides high profitability of import and suppression of actually Russian production. If you associate yourselves with importers or with service of their commercial interests, everything wil be ok with you.

Besides agriculture the WTO will cause the greatest harm to the consumer goods manufacturing and food industry (in particular to the dairy and cheese making branch), to fishery, mechanical engineering (in particular, to production of trucks and agricultural mechanical engineering).

At the same time the main loss is caused not by these or those tariff concessions which part can be partially compensated for some time by direct grants from the budget, but by the rules of conducting of trade disputes (as well as about other rules of the WTO) which, as pushing Russia in the WTO Gref fairly noted, the Russian officials often don’t know.

These rules some time after making seeming ridiculous today complaints are able to “press” all productions acquiring goods at adjustable state prices, if these prices are lower than the world ones. Classical example – production of mineral fertilizers from gas bought at the price below world can be considered within WTO rules as subsidizing of these fertilizers. Such assessment will lead not only to imposing of enormous countervailing duties on their export, but also to payment of compensations to foreign producers who would like to sell their fertilizers in the domestic Russian market, but can't make it because of too high prime cost.

The list of similar examples can be infinitely long.

Joining the WTO on enslaving terms seems to me one of the gravest crimes of the corrupted bureaucracy against Russia and our people.

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