February 22, 2020

Focus on Africa

Categories: Doha / Trade /EU

French President Jacques Chirac recently spoke out against U.S. cotton subsidies. For additional details on this and other trade & development issues, see “Focus on Africa,” which is now available at the German Marshall Fund’s Trade & Development webpage.


Farm Bill Editorials (Sugar)

Categories: Farm Bill

I. Farm Bill Editorials
II. Planting Decisions

I. Farm Bill Editorials

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times editorial board stated that, “Americans pay about double the world market price for sugar, a hidden tax that hurts everyone with a sweet tooth. Many beverage and food makers catering to that sweet tooth have long used corn syrup instead of sugar because it’s cheaper, but the price of corn syrup is beginning to rise. So now would be a good time for the U.S. government to revisit its destructive farm policies.

“This is a classic case of a narrow, vocal lobby — sugar growers — benefiting at the expense of the larger economy. The latest victim of high-priced sweeteners is Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, which announced last week that it would cut 3,500 jobs because of a $1.1-billion loss in 2006. Other soft-drink makers, confectioners and food companies also pay a steep price for the complex system of price supports and import quotas aimed at protecting U.S. sugar growers by insulating them from global market realities.

“More U.S. food makers probably would use sugar rather than corn syrup if they could pay the real market price for sugar and have access to more of the sweetener. Compounding the awful distortions created by the current quota system is the fact that corn syrup prices are rising so sharply because more of the U.S. corn crop is being diverted to make ethanol, which makes little sense because ethanol can be made much more efficiently from — you guessed it! — sugar. It’s hard to even keep track of all the ways in which the nation’s sugar protectionism is damaging.”