# 34.1 Protectionism: an indirect subsidy from consumers to producers  (Page 5/16)

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## Who benefits and who pays?

Using the demand and supply model, consider the impact of protectionism on producers and consumers in each of the two countries. For protected producers like U.S. sugar farmers, restricting imports is clearly positive. Without a need to face imported products, these producers are able to sell more, at a higher price. For consumers in the country with the protected good, in this case U.S. sugar consumers, restricting imports is clearly negative. They end up buying a lower quantity of the good and paying a higher price for what they do buy, compared to the equilibrium price and quantity without trade. The following Clear It Up feature considers why a country might outsource jobs even for a domestic product.

## Why are life savers, an american product, not made in america?

Life Savers, the hard candy with the hole in the middle, were invented in 1912 by Clarence Crane in Cleveland, Ohio. Starting in the late 1960s and for 35 years afterward, 46 billion Life Savers a year, in 200 million rolls, were produced by a plant in Holland, Michigan. But in 2002, the Kraft Company announced that the Michigan plant would be closed and Life Saver production moved across the border to Montreal, Canada.

One reason is that Canadian workers are paid slightly less, especially in healthcare and insurance costs that are not linked to employment there. Another main reason is that the United States government keeps the price of sugar high for the benefit of sugar farmers, with a combination of a government price floor program and strict quotas on imported sugar. According to the Coalition for Sugar Reform, from 2009 to 2012, the price of refined sugar in the United States ranged from 64% to 92% higher than the world price. Life Saver production uses over 100 tons of sugar each day, because the candies are 95% sugar.

A number of other candy companies have also reduced U.S. production and expanded foreign production. Indeed, from 1997 to 2011, some 127,000 jobs in the sugar-using industries, or more than seven times the total employment in sugar production, were eliminated. While the candy industry is especially affected by the cost of sugar, the costs are spread more broadly. U.S. consumers pay roughly $1 billion per year in higher food prices because of elevated sugar costs. Meanwhile, sugar producers in low-income countries are driven out of business. Because of the sugar subsidies to domestic producers and the quotas on imports, they cannot sell their output profitably, or at all, in the United States market. The fact that protectionism pushes up prices for consumers in the country enacting such protectionism is not always acknowledged openly, but it is not disputed. After all, if protectionism did not benefit domestic producers, there would not be much point in enacting such policies in the first place. Protectionism is simply a method of requiring consumers to subsidize producers. The subsidy is indirect, since it is paid by consumers through higher prices, rather than a direct subsidy paid by the government with money collected from taxpayers. But protectionism works like a subsidy, nonetheless. The American satirist Ambrose Bierce defined “tariff” this way in his 1911 book, The Devil’s Dictionary : “Tariff, n. A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer.” The effect of protectionism on producers and consumers in the foreign country is complex. When an import quota is used to impose partial protectionism, the sugar producers of Brazil receive a lower price for the sugar they sell in Brazil—but a higher price for the sugar they are allowed to export to the United States. Indeed, notice that some of the burden of protectionism, paid by domestic consumers, ends up in the hands of foreign producers in this case. Brazilian sugar consumers seem to benefit from U.S. protectionism, because it reduces the price of sugar that they pay. On the other hand, at least some of these Brazilian sugar consumers also work as sugar farmers, so their incomes and jobs are reduced by protectionism. Moreover, if trade between the countries vanishes, Brazilian consumers would miss out on better prices for imported goods—which do not appear in our single-market example of sugar protectionism. The effects of protectionism on foreign countries notwithstanding, protectionism requires domestic consumers of a product (consumers may include either households or other firms) to pay higher prices to benefit domestic producers of that product. In addition, when a country enacts protectionism, it loses the economic gains it would have been able to achieve through a combination of comparative advantage, specialized learning, and economies of scale, concepts discussed in International Trade . ## Key concepts and summary There are three tools for restricting the flow of trade: tariffs, import quotas, and nontariff barriers. When a country places limitations on imports from abroad, regardless of whether it uses tariffs, quotas, or nontariff barriers, it is said to be practicing protectionism. Protectionism will raise the price of the protected good in the domestic market, which causes domestic consumers to pay more, but domestic producers to earn more. ## Problems Assume two countries, Thailand (T) and Japan (J), have one good: cameras. The demand (d) and supply (s) for cameras in Thailand and Japan is described by the following functions: P is the price measured in a common currency used in both countries, such as the Thai Baht. 1. Compute the equilibrium price (P) and quantities (Q) in each country without trade. 2. Now assume that free trade occurs. The free-trade price goes to 56.36 Baht. Who exports and imports cameras and in what quantities? ## References Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Industries at a Glance.” Accessed December 31, 2013. http://www.bls.gov/iag/. Oxfam International. Accessed January 6, 2014. http://www.oxfam.org/. #### Questions & Answers in 2021 Amazon reduced the annual subscription fee for its prime membership service which provides free two_day shipping on many goods and other benefits, from$119 to \$99. Zoppa consulting, an investment firm estimated that before the price reduction, prime had 62million subscribers globally. If so, what is the arc elasticity of demand for a prime membership.
Differences between microeconomics and macroeconomics
Macroeconomics deal with the economy as a whole.that is an economy affect the firm ,government and the households eg.unemployment, whilst Microeconomics deal with the the decision making of households,firm and government separately.
Amah
what is Economics
the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth and has Influence by sociology!!!!
Ajay
Economics is the study of how humans make decisions when they want to fulfil their requirements and desires for goods, services and resources.
Abdullah
Economics is the study how humans make decisions in the faces of scarcity.
Rose
economic is the study of how human make decision in the fact of scarcity.
Toang
Economics is a social science which study human behavior as a relationship between earn and scarce mean which have alternative uses
Juliet
what is market structure
Fatima
market structure in economics depicts how firms are differentiated and categorised based on types of goods they sell and how their operations are affected by external factors and elements.
Nasir
what is economic theory
what is demand
demand is the willingness to purchase something
Mohamed
demand is the potential ability or williness to purchases something at a particular price at a given period of time..
Ahmed
Demand refers to as quantities of a goods and services in which consumers are willing and able to purchase at a given period of time. Demand can also be defined as the desire backed by ability to purchase .
what is demand
is the production of goods in scarcity
David
thanks
John
Demand refers to as quantities of a goods and services in which consumers are willing and able to purchase at a given period of time.
what is demand of supply
What is the meaning of supply of labour
what is production?
Production is basically the creation of goods and services to satisfy human wants
Anthonia
under what condition will demand curve slope upward from left to right instead of normally sloping downward from left to right
how i can calculate elasticity?
What is real wages
what are the concept of cost
what is the difference between want and choice
Want is a desire to have something while choice is the ability to select or choose a perticular good or services you desire to have at a perticular point in time.
Dalton
substitutes and complements
Substitute are goods that can replace another good but complements goods that can be combined together
nkanyiso
account for persistent increase in lnflation