• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Sugar Prices Not So Sweet This Halloween

    It’s Halloween, and people have been stocking up on their candy supplies. What most Americans don’t know is that sugar in the United States is far more expensive than it should be.

    Like zombies, vampires, and other monsters that that seem impossible to kill, the “temporary” sugar tariff from the Great Depression lives on today.

    The tariff was put in place to protect the American sugar industry from foreign competition. But the impact on candy manufacturers and consumers continues to be felt.

    Companies that require sugar are allowed to shop for sugar internationally until they reach a certain quota. After that, they have to purchase the rest of their sugar here or pay a prohibitive tariff. This is clearly incompatible with the values of a free marketplace.

    It’s cheaper for some companies to produce sugary foods abroad and then ship them back to the United States. This encourages companies to move their factories overseas, as a Hershey plant did recently when it closed down operations in three states and moved one of its factories to Canada.

    The sugar tariff also destroys U.S. jobs. For every sugar industry job that the tariff saves, three jobs are lost in manufacturing.

    Efforts have been made to repeal the sugar tariff, such as the Lugar Free Sugar Act of 2011, but so far none has succeeded.

    Why has a policy so contradictory to U.S. economic values remained on the books for over 70 years? The answer is quite simple: the disproportionate influence that sugar producers have with political leaders of both parties.

    For example, sugar manufacturers contributed 55.1 percent of crop-related political action committee donations from 2002 to 2012.

    So when the kids are collecting their treats tonight, remember that the trick is on those who paid more than they should have.

    Katherine Elliott is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Sugar Prices Not So Sweet This Halloween

    1. John Detwiler says:

      With that excuse of a man Harry Reid as leader of the Senate, nothing that is sensible will ever be passed. I truthfully believe that the man is insane. That is why we need to get control of the Senate and put that liberal lackey back in a broom closet., where he can do no more damage. I will personally thank him for being the cause of the Republicans getting control of the Senate in 2013. Bye Bye Harry.

    2. Bobbie says:

      If the purpose of this government implemented sugar tariff was made to manipulate benefit to America but shows the opposite, why isn't the President and his make believers stopping it? He's ignorant to the burdens he causes as he pays no attention to those burdened. This man has caused intentional sacrifice on America for somebody's' sake! We see his work and goals of his policies are against America(ns,) so who is he working for?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×