EU Light Bulb Protectionism

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The EU is interfering again in the free market and is recommending that a tariff adding up to 66% onto the cost of energy-saving lightbulbs from China is retained for another year.

The tariff is to protect the four European energy-saving lightbulb manufacturers from cheap Chinese imports but only the German company, Osram, is asking for the tariff to be extended.  The Dutch firm, Philips, is asking for the tariff to be scrapped as it already makes lightbulbs in China and environmental groups are backing them up pointing out the duplicity of Federal Europe in pontificating on the use of energy-saving lightbulbs to cut energy consumption at the same time as they are artificially inflating the price of the bulbs.

We are a free-market capitalist society in England – if China can provide cheap lightbulbs then let them do so.  Socialist economic protectionism creates a false economy precariously balanced and in need of constant “tweaking” to keep it steady.  Not only this, but it is detrimental to the consumer who find themselves paying more for goods to subsidise unprofitable manufacturing cartels.


  1. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    I’d say that the economy was oligopolistic, free competition that the free market model is predicated upon cannot exist when there are large monopolies; so the “free market” talk is largely ideological, in the “covering-up” sense.

    There’s an interesting story about Osram. When Germany was reunified the East German lightbulb company was shut down because it threatened Osram and Philips: it could produce cheaper lightbulbs, so it had to go. A case of capitalist economic protectionism, you might say!

  2. WiIlliam Gruff (16 comments) says:

    Can you do something about that error message that pops up if, as I have done more than once here, one forgets to put one’s personal details in the required fields? When I clicked back I’d lost my comments.

  3. Calum (183 comments) says:

    All the stuff with China is political. It is about slowing Chinas growth and damaging their image. It is about making them look less attractive to investors, and making us, the EU and US more attractive.

    Just look at the whole thing over the lead paint in toys. It is bullshit. The US have made a big thing out of it to damage the image of China, their main economic rival (with the EU being more of a companion than rival). This is about stopping production in China and about discouraging investors from setting up in PRC, in the hope that instead they will invest in the EU and USA.

    It is political and is in my opinion wrong. Not only does it hamper the free market, but things like the shit over the toys is just wrong and is political.

  4. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    Sure there’s a political motive – but you can’t deny there was lead in the toys? Nor can you deny that the logic of capitalist production drives down standards?

    Consumers have no knowledge of what really goes into products, and if the manufacturer can skip on health and safety… well, that’s a bigger profit, innit?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.