Earlier this week, a longtime anti-sugar critic penned an article in the Wall Street Journal attacking U.S. sugar farmers and the policy on which they depend.
Fortunately, the newspaper brought some balance to the debate by publishing the American Sugar Alliance’s response to the article today.
Regarding Burleigh Leonard’s Nov. 3 attack on U.S. sugar policy, it should be noted that America’s sugar producers have agreed to end their policy in exchange for other countries doing the same.
U.S. producers are efficient and would excel in an undistorted free market. Unfortunately, a free market does not exist, and major exporters like Brazil, Thailand and India are expanding sugar subsidies and creating more distortions.
Closer to home, a large portion of Mexico’s inefficient industry is government owned, and the U.S. Department of Commerce found that the entire Mexican industry was unfairly subsidized and dumping sugar onto the U.S. market at an alarming rate.
Free trade is a laudable goal that can be furthered by trade agreements between countries. However, those pacts don’t give countries carte blanche to injure Americans with predatory trade practices. The fact that the U.S. and Mexican governments reached an agreement to stop such abuses should be applauded.
Instead, the author criticizes compromise and promotes unilateral disarmament – a stance that won’t foster free trade but will reward the world’s biggest subsidizers and leave U.S. consumers vulnerable to unreliable foreign suppliers.
Chairwoman, American Sugar Alliance