The Corner

Sweet But Sour

It would indeed prove outrageous if the administration backed down on plans to permit more sugar imports (see Jonathan Adler’s post below), and if you want to know how rotten the American sugar industry has become, just consider the Brothers Fanjul. Sugar titans, the Fanjuls play the political game with such thoroughness and finesse that in 1996 one brother was a principal fundraiser for Bob Dole, the other for Bill Clinton. (Clinton’s Fanjul became briefly famous because his name came up in connection with Monicagate. Apparently our former chief executive once carried on a telephone conversation with Fanjul while Ms. Lewinsky was, shall we say, very much present.)

Loosening the restrictions on sugar imports would do a great deal to eliminate the greasy connection between politics and Big Sugar, lower sugar prices for American consumers, and, perhaps most important, raise incomes for poor people in much of the Caribbean-people who would then feel much less tempted to immigrate to this country. (See? If you’re concerned about immigration, you ought to support free trade, a point that I place in parentheses because I promised just yesterday that I’d give free trade a rest.)

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