Candymakers are sour on protectionism that drives up the price of sugar: Joe Frolik

Plain Dealer

Kirk Vashaw's family has made candy in Bryan, Ohio, for 106 years. Their Spangler Candy Co. is best known for Dum Dum lollipops -- 10 million of them roll off the line every day -- but it also makes candy canes and marshmallow peanuts. Such a sweet business requires 22 million pounds of sugar each year, says CEO Vashaw.

What's not so sweet is the cost of all that sugar.

Thanks to a web of tariffs, quotas and other perks that have been protecting domestic sugar-cane and sugar-beet growers since the Depression, American consumers -- from big users such as Spanglers to folks like you and me who like our coffee sweet -- are often paying more than twice the global market price. By some estimates, the overage comes to more than $3.5 billion a year.

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Candymakers are sour on protectionism that drives up the price of sugar: Joe Frolik »