The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
CAFTA and the sugar Smoot-Hawley
Even the Hammer is struggling to nail House approval, it seems . (A taste of the lobbying souk.)
One key interest-group looking to junk the treaty is the sugar-growers, beet and cane.
The US regime for sugar importation harks back to the day when free-trade was un-American. (Pretty much the whole history of the Republic up to 1945.)
What you or I would call a quota, Uncle Sam calls a sugar program :
Thanks to those restrictions, U.S. sugar prices are more than twice the world market level.
I'm pretty sure that the EU Common Agricultural Policy is similarly anti-competitive - but then, paradigmatically, are those European's a bunch of siege-economy socialists?
The sweeties have already done damage to the free-trade cause in the drafting of CAFTA:
Although CAFTA contains special provisions for sugar that no other sector gets -- it would allow the Central Americans and Dominicans to increase their sugar shipments to the United States by only a small percentage of overall U.S. consumption -- growers fear even that would be enough to drive sugar prices sharply lower.
So, cheaper sugar for the American working-class: Democrats should be loving that, surely?
free website counter