Would that were true about the U.S. sugar program. Valentine’s Day is here again and every lover who buys his or her significant other a box of candy will pay just a little bit more for the privilege because of sugar quotas that generally guarantee sugar cane and beet producers and sugar processors higher returns than they would obtain if they faced genuine competition from the global market.
The U.S. sugar program raises food prices on supermarket shelves and reduces the ability of U.S. food processors to compete in world markets. The program costs the U.S. economy thousands of manufacturing jobs and, in a world of record prices for other major crops like corn and wheat, is scarcely an essential tool for maintaining a viable U.S. agricultural sector.
As Professor Michael Wohlgenant and I argued last year, it is well past time for the program to be disestablished.