The factors which influence costs of production of food and the prices to the consumer have changed dramatically during this century, but especially since the establishment of trading systems all over the world. Gone are the days when the simple expedients of supply and demand alone governed the situation. The erosion of these principles began at the turn of the century, mainly as a result of the introduction by the rapidly developing industrial power of the USA to protect her own industries against the cheaper products of European countries. They introduced the system of tariffs on imported manufactured goods; it grew and eventually was made to apply to wide sectors of industry. European countries retaliated but the free trade policy of Britain's Liberal government was making the country a dumping ground for all other country's cheap products and surpluses.
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