Capitol Hill Briefing

The Bitter Taste of Sugar Protectionism: How Congress and the U.S. Sugar Industry Kill Jobs, Raise the Cost of Living for Americans, and Compel U.S. Companies to Move Overseas

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Date and Time
June 13, 2014 12 - 1:30 PM EDT
B-354 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Daniel J. Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Ike Brannon, Fellow, The 4% Growth Project, George W. Bush Institute; and Daniel Pearson, Senior Fellow, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by John Maniscalco, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute.

In a May 9 preliminary decision, the U.S. International Trade Commission determined “there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of sugar from Mexico that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.” As a result, antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into the questions of domestic injury, dumping, and subsidization will proceed with final determinations expected in early 2015.

If duties are imposed on imports of sugar from Mexico, the decision will mark the latest U.S. government intervention on behalf of domestic sugar producers to ensure higher‐​than‐​world‐​average sugar prices in the United States. This raises costs of production for sugar‐​using industries and discourages domestic value‐​added activity.

What have been the real costs of U.S. sugar protection? How has it impacted consumers, industrial users, and trade relations? What mechanisms exist to prevent the U.S. trade laws from enabling one U.S. industry to impose injurious costs on another?