By Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach
In his latest column, Seton Motley of Less Government notes how brutally effective President Donald Trump’s use of “America First” tariffs has been in getting international trading partners to deal more fairly with the United States…
“Countries the world over have been royally screwing us for decades. Trump said this was titanically stupid – and pledged to end it. And in its place – engage in, you know, fair, actually free trade.
“And so far – he has. And where deals haven’t yet been cut – the other sides have pledged to mostly stop their screwing of us.
“You may not like Trump using tariffs like a trade vorpal blade. But neither does anyone else anywhere else on the planet – and that’s what has made them so very effective.”
This is especially true in the global trade wars over agricultural commodities.
“When you hear about US farmers struggling,” Motley continued, “it ain’t because of Trump’s tariffs. It’s because our farmers have been undercut for decades by global subsidies. Which is why farmers remain steadfastly loyal to Trump.”
That includes sugar farmers who continue to face an uphill battle against foreign competitors who subsidize their own sugar industries – like Brazil.
“Tariffs and import limits, reduce our foreign sales,” Motley has written previously. “Which of course damages our domestic producers…to a degree. But other countries’ subsidies are stealth weapons killing us from within. Importing government subsidies undercuts our domestic producers of everything that is subsidized elsewhere.”
Motley notes that Brazil controls half the global sugar market, thanks in part to an estimated $2.5 billion annually in subsidies to its sugar industry which allows the country to price its sugar “well below the cost of production.”
“Brazil’s uber-subsidization isn’t free trade,” Motley writes. “It isn’t fair trade. And it’s allowed them to dominate a government-dominated anti-marketplace.”
As such, he calls on President Trump to “restore some semblance of actual free trade” and “demand Brazil cut it out.”
Sounds like a plan, Stan.
Citizen Outreach is a free-market grassroots advocacy organization. For more information, please visit www.CitizenOutreach.org