The sugar settlement between the United States and Mexico, announced on Tuesday by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, sets the stage for the NAFTA “renegotiation” scheduled to begin in August. And the settlement is going to cost Americans more to satisfy their sweet tooths.
At bottom, it’s all about protecting an inefficient American industry from foreign competition. Sugar is an enormous industry, and economic and political interests want to keep protections in place in order to save it from foreign competition. On one side is Big Sugar: a conglomeration of sugar interests such as cane and beet farming groups and American Sugar Refining (ASR), which owns Domino Sugar, California and Hawaiian Sugar Company, Redpath Sugar, and Tate & Lyle’s European sugar operations. ASR, located in West Palm Beach, Florida, is essentially controlled by the politically connected Fanjul brothers.
On the other side is…
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