As you can imagine, there is a lot of sugar cane grown in Costa Rica. There would be a lot more grown I bet, if U.S. tax payers stopped giving sugar farmers in the U.S. subsidies. If consumers were able to buy their sugar at world market prices, that’s almost $4 billion.
And the sugar users: mega conglomerates like Coke and Little Debbie would see a nice boost to the bottom line. OR the price of Coke and Little Debbies would plummet and the U.S. could grow fatter cheaper.
If sugar quotas were eliminated, and American consumers and business had been able to purchase 100% of their sugar in 2011 at the world price (average of 31.68 cents per pound) instead of the average U.S. price of 56.22 cents, they would have saved about $3.86 billion.
I’m not smart enough to figure out if this is accurate. I don’t know how you account for the impact of high fructose corn syrup in the price of sugar.
But this guy says it pretty well:
The cost of most trade protection is largely invisible and hard to calculate, but the cost of sugar protection is directly visible and measurable, since the USDA and the futures markets regularly report prices for both high-cost domestic sugar and low-cost world sugar.
Wait… sugar causes obesity.
Perhaps Congress should pay mega-farms NOT to grow sugar.