For months now the US and France have been engaged in a stinky war over taxes on Roquefort, the pungent blue cheese from the south of France. The 300 percent import duty, which President George W. Bush enacted right before he left office, was scheduled to take effect March 23. But in the riff over Roquefort, might Presidents Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy be able to smooth things over? Federal trade agency officials, hoping to strike middle ground with France, have postponed the tariff; it is now scheduled to take effect April 23. A duty on the cheese was first proposed in 1999 in response to a European Union ban on hormone-treated American beef. Said agency spokesperson Nefeterius McPherson: "The Obama administration is continuing the long-standing US policy of trying to reach a negotiated settlement that offers real benefits to the US beef industry."
France has also continued to lobby for the cheese in the States, since a tax would have drastic consequences on the availability of Roquefort. Martin Malvy, president of the cheese's home region, even sent President Obama a special package of the blue cheese for his inauguration. The delay shows hope that the two nations may find middle ground. Are you taking this as a good sign, or do you think the trade on this famed, blue-veined cheese is destined to crumble?