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Clark Packard: Curbing Agricultural Subsidies To Open International Markets

September 5, 2017

Free trade is good for agriculture but current farm subsidies close foreign markets to our farm and ranch products.

As Clark Packard, policy analyst with the R Street Institute explains, free trade is good for farmers, but current agricultural policy, including billions of dollars in subsidies annually, distort farm markets and result in many foreign markets being closed to our farm and ranch products. The U.S. is the largest exporter of farm goods, accounting for more than 1 million jobs annually, but our net trade in farm and ranch products could grow if we would only reduce farm subsidies and not erect barriers to free trade. Current moves to restrict trade to support some domestic industries, will hurt both consumers and farmers.
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Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland research fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org