“US consumers have long paid about twice the world price for sugar because of import quotas protecting about 9,000 domestic sugar producers. The European Union is similarly guilty. … Egregious subsidies are handed out to US cotton producers, which flood the world market, depressing export prices. These hit the lowest-cost cotton producers in the global economy, which also happen to be some of the poorest nations on earth: Mali, Burkina Faso, and Chad.”
Read the complete article by William Easterly in the Financial Times.
His punch line: “According to an Oxfam study, eliminating US cotton subsidies would “improve the welfare of over one million West African households – 1O million people – by increasing their incomes from cotton by 8 to 20 per cent”
Conclusion: Trade-fueled growth could help developing nations much.