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Trump Doctrine on Fair Trade Mirrors Existing U.S. Sugar Program

Following recommendations by the U.S. International Trade Commission, President Donald Trump this week slapped a 30 percent tariff on imported solar-energy components “in a bid to help U.S. manufacturers.”

Similar restrictions were also applied to washing machine imports.

“The United States International Trade Commission, an independent body of trade experts,” reports John Carney of, “had engaged in ‘an exhaustive process’ to examine the charges filed by American businesses and concluded that U.S. producers had been ‘seriously injured’ by imports.”

Indeed, according to an Associated Press report more than two dozen U.S. solar-manufacturing facilities have closed over the past five years “as China plotted to flood the global market with cheap products to weaken U.S. manufacturing.”

“The president’s action makes clear again that the Trump administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in general,” affirmed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement announcing the decision.

This is welcome news to American sugar farmers who are once again under assault by Big Candy lobbyists who conducting a national letter-to-the-editor disinformation/propaganda campaign calling on Congress to unilaterally eliminate the current U.S. sugar program which defends American sugar farmers from “cheap” imported sugar from countries that subsidize their comparatively inefficient sugar industries.

In this regard, the “Trump Doctrine” on trade is perfectly consistent with Rep. Ted Yoho’s proposed “Zero for Zero” resolution which essentially declares that the United States will remove its protections from artificially cheap sugar imports in return for foreign competitors removing their often-unlawful government subsidies.

As the President has plainly stated, it’s not acceptable to continue with trade agreements that unfairly benefit foreign producers at the expense of American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses in general.

As such, Congress should stop trying to kill the U.S. sugar program – which would seriously hurt American sugar farmers – and instead focus their time and attention to striking new trade deals that provide a level playing field for all of the players involved.

Zero-for-Zero is a perfect opportunity for Congress to get onboard with the President’s “America First” trade agenda.  The sooner the better.