Politics as usual
February 7, 2009 11:22 AM Subscribe
posted by puckish (98 comments total)
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Last-minute diplomacy: Less than a week before it left office, the Bush administration tripled the import duty rate on roquefort cheese to 300%
, a move which the US hopes will "shut down trade" in the sheep's milk product by making it prohibitively expensive.
To the delight of copy editors everywhere: the war on cheese! Bush sticks it to the French, ostensibly as part of the ongoing fight over the French ban on hormone-treated beef. France's response
: "Symbol for symbol. Since the United States has decided to surtax one of the most ancient (cheese) appellations, I think that the French government, with the European Union, must think about a heavy specific tax on imports of Coca-Cola concentrates produced in the US."
The U.S. makes up about 2.5% of the French roquefort market. All the same -- the French governor Michael Malvy sent President Obama a gift-wrapped deluxe box of roquefort cheese
- to appeal to his better instincts? Also of interest: The Huffington Post on why we should be like the French
. Seth Kalkstein on why cheese doesn't go bad
. David Fankhauser on making blue cheese in your basement