By Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach
With the British exit from the European Union last week, some sugar producers from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations, as well as “Lesser Developed Countries” (LDC), see a window of opportunity to gain access to the new independent market at the end of this year.
According to an article this week in the Jamaica Gleaner…
“ACP Sugar, which is an organisation representing 19 sugar industries, is urging the United Kingdom government, at the end of the transition period, to implement an independent sugar policy that creates a sustainable cane sector and market value for ACP-LDC suppliers.”
Unfortunately, the organization wants entry into the new market by manipulating and distorting it – like so many others do with sugar around the globe already.
ACP Sugar wants England to apply special tariffs on non-ACP-LDC countries to give its members a leg up on the competition.
“The UK government should heed the plight of the ACP and LDC cane sugar producing countries and acknowledge the developmental benefits their industries provide by structuring a new trading system which supports them with a sustainable price for their sugar.”
Of course, a better new trading system would be one in which no countries are distorting the market through government subsidies, tariffs and import quotas.
The UK’s “brexit” from the EU indeed opens all manner of new potential bi-lateral trade deals – including with the United States.
As for sugar, the opportunity is there to establish an international market free of the market-distorting government meddling that’s forced the U.S. to impose tariff and quota protections for domestic American farmers.
Now would be a good time to explore ways to make the sugar market a true free market. Zero subsidies in return for zero tariffs. Let’s hope the ACP-LDC countries see the light.