Business: Going Sour on Sugar Payoffs

Some lumps on Capitol Hill

When it comes to protectionism, the sugar industry has been given some of the U.S.'s sweetest deals. For 40 years cane and beet growers were shielded by import quotas that not only helped keep domestic prices at twice the world level, but also fostered corruption and bribery and made Congressmen like the late Harold Cooley, Democratic chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, virtual Secretaries of State for Sugar.

Congress scrapped the quotas in 1974, but the sweetheart spirit survives. Under a four-year-old program of Government subsidies and price supports, growers still get twice the world level, or at...

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