Fran Smith | All Articles

Fran Smith
Fran Smith
Board Member and Adjunct Fellow, CEI
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      Fran Smith is a board member and adjunct fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Is ‘zero for zero’ a sugar industry ploy?

              Panamanian presidential security detail walks on the deck aboard a North Korean-flagged ship at the Manzanillo International container terminal on the coast of Colon City, Panama, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The North Korean ship carrying weapons system parts buried under sacks of sugar was seized as it tried to cross the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to its home country, which is under a United Nations arms embargo, Panamanian officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

The U.S. sugar lobby is promoting a supposedly free market idea:  to get rid of the U.S. sugar support program if Brazilian producers give up their sugar subsidies. They call this concept “zero-for-zero.” It sounds good on its face. Agreeing to discontinue costly protectionist programs would help consumers in both countries, which have a long history of policies that block competition and raise consumer prices.

Sugar program isn’t sweet for consumers or the economy

1:46 PM 04/19/2012

Don’t look now, but here comes the farm bill, one of those catch-all legislative behemoths littered with wasteful programs and supported by entrenched special interests. The bill comes up for reauthorization every five years and is a lobbyist’s dream --- impacting everything from farm subsidies to food safety --- and industry and interest groups are working furiously to protect their sacred cows, so to speak.