Given the benefits of removing sugar support programs and all the talk about deregulation and reducing the budget deficit in Congress, many observers thought that 2013 would be the year that the sugar programs were finally abandoned. The farm bill was up for renewal, and the sugar support programs were held up as an example of how wasteful government subsidies are. However, sugar producers spent some $20 million on political lobbying between 2011 and 2013. Partly due to their influence, the U.S. Senate voted 54 to 45 against any reform in the sugar programs. The majority included 20 out of 45 Republican senators, most of whom publicly rail against this kind of government intervention. Apparently, however, political expediency required that they support intervention in this case.
Discussion QuestionsQUESTION 1: Who benefits from subsidies to U.S. sugar producers? Who loses?QUESTION 2: Do the benefits of U.S. government support to the U.S. sugar industry outweigh the losses?QUESTION 3: What do you think would happen if the U.S. government removed all support for U.S. sugar producers?QUESTION 4: Government support programs for sugar producers were introduced in the 1930s, yet they are still in place today, long after the original rationale disappeared. What does this tell you about political decisions relating to international trade?QUESTION 5: If you had the power to make changes here, what would you do and why?
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read both pages?