Make Sugar Great Again!

Okay, it doesn’t have the same ring as, “Make America Great Again!” but sugar is something the Trump administration should work on making great again. 

America produces a lot of sugar. So does other parts of the world. But there is a problem.  Actually, a couple of problems.  

First, there is a glut of sugar in the worldwide market right now.  There is such an oversupply, that Brazil, one of the leading sugar producers, is redirecting part of its sugar output into biofuels, instead of traditional sugar.

The oversupply of sugar has a simple cause.

Subsidies.

Most sugar producing nations subsidize their sugar.  Anyone who has even a fundamental understanding of economics understands that when you subsidize something, you get more of it.  India, one of the prime producers of sugar, is doubling down on a really bad idea.  

After record sugar crops in India, and nearby Thailand, the sugar market is glutted. So, India is increasing its sugar subsidies for its farmers.  Not only are other sugar producing nations complaining to India, some are taking their complaints to the World Trade Organization.

The problem with these subsidies is, it distorts the free market.  The real problem for American farmers is, American farmers are not subsidized like farmers in India or other countries.  The subsidies on sugar cost American farmers.

Free trade is the best system in the world, when it works. Americans seem to forget that for free trade to work, it needs to be free. Free is not a system where American farmers are on their own and foreign farmers get the benefit of tariffs or subsidies to help their product.  Free trade flourishes when the trade is truly free. When there are no barriers to trade or incentives to distort the free market.

There are thousands of America sugar farmers. Their living depends on sugar.  As do the suppliers and vendors for these farms.  

President Trump’s catch phrase has been, “Make America Great Again.”  Making America great again means helping those who made America great. American farmers made America great. But President Trump needs to protect those America farmers.  

President Trump has shown a willingness to go toe to toe with both allies and unfriendly nations over their unfair trade practices.  It is time the President stepped up for the thousands of American sugar farmers who are the victims of the predatory subsidies of foreign nations.  It is time that the President told these nations that we are not going to sit by and tolerate their unfair subsidies that hurt American farmers.  It is time for the President to make American sugar farmers a priority for this administration.

Mr. President, make sugar great again!

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