Protectionism: Sweet Subsidy

U.S. sugar tariffs cost consumers and workers

The high cost of protectionism can be seen not only among users of steel but also among consumers of sugar. Influenced by generous campaign contributions from U.S. sugar producers, the Federal Government supports domestic prices and slaps tariffs as high as 242% on most sugar imports. Mexico and other signatories of NAFTA will eventually be spared such tariffs, but the system in place today keeps domestic sugar prices at 22[cents] per lb.--about three times the global-market price.

This system encourages sugar-beet and cane farmers to grow more than anyone wants--at least at these inflated prices. The farmers are diverted from growing...

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