The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

CAFTA and the sugar Smoot-Hawley

Even the Hammer is struggling to nail House approval, it seems [1]. (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 [2]:
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?

(BYO sarcasm.)

  1. The approval of the Senate alone is necessary to ratify treaties. But, I'm thinking, CAFTA is not self-executing and requires legislation.

  2. Material here and here, for instance.

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