Growing global interdependence made the 1970s and 1980s a volatile period in the sugar trade at a time when Caribbean countries, while not the major world producers of sugar, were economically dependent on their sugar exports. Since then, government farm supports and quotas on imported sugar in the United States, overproduction in developing countries, and the emergence of a highly protected European Community sugar industry have all served to make the sugar trade a highly political global issue. This study focuses on the evolution of the U.S.Caribbean Basin sugar trade in the 1980s and its impact on political relations between the countries involved. According to the authors, the sugar trade was not driven by laws of supply and demand, but by various political agendas. Economic protectionism, government subsidies for inefficient elements of the sugar industry, as well as corruption and mismanagement have contributed to the Byzantine politics of the sugar trade. Now the United States needs to determine how lifting quotas and terminating subsides will affect this complex relationship. By providing an in-depth look at the development of current policies in the sugar trade, this book offers the necessary background for making informed policy decisions.
After examining the U.S. sugar policy from 1974 to 1989, the book provides a broader Latin American perspective of U.S. and European Community sugar policies. It also offers subregional and country analyses covering the Commonwealth Caribbean, Central America, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Panama. Despite the difficulty of competing against the United States and Europe, Caribbean and Central American countries are likely to continue to depend on sugar cane. Climactic and ecological factors make agricultural diversification extremely difficult. Some Caribbean and Central American producers have considered making ethanol automobile fuel from sugar, but here too they face protectionist pressure from U.S. producers of corn. Given current political realignments, the authors predict that the influence of the United States and the Soviet Union will diminish in the 1990s. The European Community, on the other hand, is likely to have greater influence on the inter-American sugar trade. Students of Latin American politics and international relationships, as well as those involved in the sugar industry or the policies affecting it, will find this book a valuable resource for future decisions.
About the Author
SCOTT B. MacDONALD is an International Economic Advisor at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Trinidad and Tobago: Democracy and Development in the Caribbean, Dancing on a Volcano: The Latin American Drug Trade and Mountain High, White Avalanche: Cocaine and Power in the American States and Panama (Praeger, 1986, 1988, and 1989, respectively). He has written articles for Times of the Americas, Journal of Inter-American Studies and World Affairs, and SAIS Review.
GEORGES A. FAURIOL is Director of Latin American Studies and Coordinator of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is author of Foreign Policy Behavior of Caribbean States: Guyana, Haiti, and Jamaica and co-author of Caribbean Basin Security, The Cuban Revolution: 25 Years Later and Guatemala: The Political Puzzle. He has published numerous articles in such journals as Foreign Affairs.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Politics of the U.S.Caribbean Basin Sugar Trade by Scott B. MacDonald and Georges A. Fauriol
Bittersweet: U.S. Sugar Import Quotas and the Caribbean Basin by Anthony R. Hemstad
The View from Latin America and the Caribbean by José Antonio Cerro
Cuba's Sugar Economy: Recent Performance and Challenges for the 1990s by José F. Alonso and Peter J. Buzzanell
Sugar in the Dominican Republic: How Sweet Is It? by Uwe Bott
Sugar in the Commonwealth Caribbean by Mark H. Bidus and Daniel J. Seyler
Sugar and Central American Development: A Turn of an Unfriendly Card by Scott B. MacDonald
Haiti and Panama: The Odd Men Out by Scott B. MacDonald
Ethanol as Fuel: An Old Idea in New Tanks by F. Joseph Demetrius