[Marxism] sugar article

rrubinelli rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 29 02:04:54 MDT 2005

It's amazing to me how the compulsion to distinguish between "good"
capitalists, i.e. Brazil, Thailand, and I guess Australia, vs. "bad"
capitalists, can cause a person to go to such lengths to "prove"
something which was never at issue:  i.e. EU export subsidies:  Yes, the
EU subsidizes sugar exports:

1. The original complaint was lodged by Australia against the EU,
arguing that the EU subsidized exports of "C"  beet sugar  (sugar
produced beyond quotas contained in scheduled, called A and B sugar).

2. Thailand and Brazil joined in the complaint, specifically citing the
preferential EU imports of sugar from Caribbean and other poor countries
(app 1.6 million tonnes).  The complaint stated that the EU uses the
preferential imports as a basis for subsidizing and equal amount of C
sugar exports.

3. The WTO agreed with the complainants.

4. The article in the FT does not argue that EU does not subsidize sugar
exports.  All developed capitalist countries subsidize their
agricultural systems.  Brazil will be forced to begin subsidizing its
soybean producers within the next 2 years.

5. The article deals with the impacts the WTO decision will have on the
Caribbean sugar producers as the EU withdraws its subsidies to their
sugar production.

6. As I stated originally, and repeatedly, the point is/was not to
denounce Brazil or Lula for their actions, no more than it makes sense
to denounce Australia or Thailand for their actions.

7. The point was and is the general overproduction of sugar.  Subsidies,
quotas, and decline/increases in output from old to new producers are
all part of the overproduction.

8. As I pointed out, a similar decision by the WTO in response to the
complaint brought by banana exporting countries of Latin America against
EU preferential imports of Caribbean bananas is/will have similar
negative impact on those countries.

9. Other analysis of Brazilian and Australian sugar production point to
7 cents/lb c.o.p.in the most efficient enterprises.

10.  JB's argument is that  EU subsidies distort the the world market,
and that if "left alone" the world markets would rationally regulate
sugar production.

'On a world scale, if you took OUT Europe's SURPLUS production, reduced
that ultra-subsidized European production just to the EU's internal
market needs, all of a sudden accumulated world surplus stocks,
currently at 35 MMT (out of a total world annual consumption of 140 MMT)
would head down towards more reasonable levels, and producers would be
able to get a rational market price, even in the "dumpster" remainder
"world market'

11.  While I'm sure the WTO is grateful to JB for his faith in the
ultimate rationality of the free market system, in reality
overproduction would continue to plague sugar production, as it plagues,
as it is inherent to capitalism.  Brazil, Australia, Thailand, India
would be the beneficiaries, but only temporarily, of this "rational"
market, until the entire market collapsed once again..


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joaquín Bustelo" <jbustelo at bellsouth.net>
To: "'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition'"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 1:24 AM
Subject: RE: [Marxism] sugar article

I don't have the time to do a thorough refutation of the FT article on

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