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How To End Those Sugar Subsidies

The following was published in…


This website has written extensively against federal sugar subsidies – including a post that called out fiscal conservative U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for supporting them.

Why? Because as we noted in our opposition to the recent federal “farm bill,” these subsidies distort the marketplace – creating higher prices for American consumers (and expanded obligations for American taxpayers).

“This is one of many bastardizations of the American free market (or what’s left of it) – a scam in which tax dollars support subsidies for certain politically connected interests while the rest of us get stuck with the tab,” we wrote earlier this spring.

Now an effort is underway which pro-taxpayer advocates at Americans for Limited Government are branding “the best chance in decades to actually get rid of U.S. sugar tariffs and quotas.”

According to a letter from numerous limited government advocacy groups obtained by NetRight Daily, the federal government is being encouraged to implement “zero-for-zero” trade deals with foreign countries that also engage in market distorting policies.

“We urge Congress to consider a zero-for-zero strategy where U.S. trade officials aggressively target foreign market-distorting policies,” the letter states. “Once these subsidies are removed, U.S. sugar producers have agreed to eliminate the U.S. sugar program, which consists of non-recourse loans, marketing quotas and tariffs.”

That’s a great idea …

Our government has all sorts of economic leverage it could bring to bear in negotiating these deals – most notably a willingness to stop distorting the market here in America.

Let’s hope this happens. If leaders in America and other countries truly care about lowering prices for their consumers they will take immediate steps to get government out of the subsidy business. After all, as French economist Fredric Bastiat once noted, “when goods don’t cross borders, soldiers do.”