Project Syndicate: Trump’s Sugar Swamp

In a prelude to renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement that US President Trump promised on the campaign trail, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently concluded a deal with Mexico over sugar production. The sugar industry, however, still wants stricter protections from imported Mexican sugar when negotiations begin. In Project Syndicate, Jeffrey Frankel argues that the benefits of protections for American sugar accrue to “a small group of wealthy sugarcane growers” who live in Florida and generously fund Republican campaigns. Those harmed include candy manufacturing workers, US taxpayers and Mexican farmers. Limiting sugar imports also has negative environmental repercussions. Growing sugar in Florida requires drawing water away from the Everglades: “Far from ‘draining the swamp’ in Washington, DC, the Trump administration seems prepared, in the NAFTA negotiations, to drain Florida’s indispensable wetlands,” Frankel writes. Expensive sugar encourages the nation to rely on ethanol sourced from corn, which only yields half the amount of biofuel per acre that sugarcane does. —YaleGlobal

Project Syndicate: Trump’s Sugar Swamp

US protectionist policies on the trade of sugar with Mexico produces a few winners in Florida and many losers, from candy manufacturers to taxpayers
Jeffrey Frankel
Thursday, June 29, 2017

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Jeffrey Frankel, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, previously served as a member of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers.

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