ALG - Sen. Rubio is right about Zero for Zero


Nov. 9, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans forLimited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statementapplauding Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for coming out in favor of azero for zero approach to eliminating U.S. sugar subsidies:

"Sen. Rubio has exactly the rightapproach to zerofor zero sugar subsidies policies, which is to say, the U.S. should get ridof its subsidies when the rest of the world gets rid of theirs. This is thesame exact approach akin to reciprocal tariff reduction that has been in placesince the end of Smoot-Hawley. Everyone knows in a negotiation, that if youunilaterally cede ground, you lose all leverage. Unilaterally offering to endU.S. sugar and other agricultural subsidies would be like unilaterally offeringto end tariffs on imported goods, without expecting anything in return. Whywould we do that?

"Such an approach would wreck U.S.domestic production of sugar in favor of foreign competitors like Brazil whosubsidize their sugar and want to dump it all over the market the minute weremove our subsidies. The same exact thing happened in the European Union,where after they took down their subsidies in the mid-2000s, foreigncompetitors dumped subsidized sugar onto the market, dramatically reducingdomestic production. The Europeans went from being the second largest exporterto the world's largest importer, accordingto a 2012 ProSunergy study.

"All this because world trade rulesgrant favors — special and differential treatment — to so-called developingnations like Brazil. Why would we continue with an approach that alreadysubsidizes foreign competition with unfair rules, and then offer them even moresubsidies on top of that by eliminating domestic protections?

"This is why we need zero for zero.In a true free market, there would be no subsidies. U.S. producers must not beasked to bow to foreign industries that are bankrolled by their governments.This is not about sugar, it is about what is fair.  And it is not fair totell our farmers that their livelihoods are being outsourced to a foreigncountry that is subsidizing and cheating the system.

"We all want a free market. Notjust in sugar, but for all industries. But unilaterally disarming America'ssubsidies and hoping our heavily subsidized competitors follow suit is not arealistic way to achieve a free market. That is just wishful thinking and it isnaïve. Yes we should eliminate U.S. sugar subsidies, but we need to do it in away where we can use it as leverage to actually achieve global reform and, thenonly when other governments are getting out of the market, too. It's callednegotiating, and it's time we stopped losing those negotiations."

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