President Donald Trump has been working towards less government in as many trade deals as he can (re)negotiate.
Florida Republican Congressman Ted Yoho and his bipartisan compatriots remind us Trump’s Zero-Zero-Zero trade policy – zero tariffs, zero import limits and zero subsidies – is just as excellent for traded commodities as it is for traded goods.
Yoho’s House Concurrent Resolution Seven (H. Con. Res. 7) describes the pathetic global trade market for sugar:
“Expressing the sense of Congress that all direct and indirect subsidies that benefit the production or export of sugar by all major sugar-producing and -consuming countries should be eliminated.
“Whereas every major sugar-producing and sugar-consuming country in the world maintains some form of direct or indirect subsidy to support its sugar growers, processors, or consumers;
“Whereas virtually all of the more than 100 countries that produce sugar maintain market-distorting subsidy programs….”
Translation: EVERYONE does it. So our unilaterally disarming – while continuing to subject ourselves to their MUCH larger regimes – would be titanically stupid.
“(T)he Government of Brazil which provides direct and indirect subsidies of at least $2,500,000,000 per year for programs to promote its sugar and ethanol industry and has increased subsidies in recent years in the form of preferential loans, debt forgiveness, and increased ethanol usage mandates;
“(2) (T)he Government of India which provides at least $1,700,000,000 per year in subsidy supports to prop up its inefficient sugar industry, including WTO-illegal export subsidies in 2014, 2015, and 2018;
“(3) (T)he Government of Thailand which has more than tripled its sugar exports since 2004 by providing at least $1,300,000,000 in subsidies and government programs to its sugar industry and by maintaining domestic prices well above export prices;
“(4) (T)he Government of the European Union which is sending an estimated $665,000,000 per year in subsidies to sugar farmers; and
“(5) (T)he Government of Mexico which has used direct and indirect subsidies to keep open sugar mills owned by private industry and the government has sent direct payments to sugarcane growers, and has been found guilty of injuring United States sugar producers by dumping subsidized sugar into the United States market;….”
MUCH larger regimes.
So our unilaterally disarming – while continuing to subject ourselves to their MUCH larger regimes – would be titanically stupid.
So let’s not.
Let’s instead do what Congressman Yoho’s merry band of bipartisan brothers want to do.
Which is exactly what President Trump wants to do.
Less government in trade – from everyone.