DAILY SIGNAL: Sugar Subsidies Are a Lose-Lose for American Workers and Consumers

Daily Signal: Written by Erin Bardin & Bryan Riley. July 3, 2017.

President Donald Trump recently suggested: “Sugar deal negotiated with Mexico is a very good one for both Mexico and the U.S. Had no deal for many years which hurt U.S. badly.”

That lack of “deal” Trump refers to involves a dispute over imports of sugar from Mexico. A more significant issue is the U.S. sugar program, a scheme that can best be described as the “OPEC of sugar.”

OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) enriches oil producers by setting caps on petroleum production. The U.S. sugar program does the same thing for sugar producers.

Each year, U.S. Department of Agriculture bureaucrats decide how much sugar Americans can import. Any amount above this is subject to prohibitive import taxes.

To get a picture of why this policy is so problematic, consider the unnecessary costs to consumers. Since 2000, the sugar program has cost Americans over $47 billion in higher prices—all just to placate domestic sugar producers.

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