Real Coke and Car Tariffs, by Eric Peters

What tariffs do to the companies and consumers upon whom they fall. From Eric Peters at

Real Coke – the most American of sodas – comes nowadays from Mexico. I mean of course the stuff made with sugar and put into glass bottles, the way Coke was once made and sold here  – as opposed to the high fructose corn syrup sweetened sludge (in aluminum cans and plastic bottles) currently sold here.

Interestingly, this is the case because of tariffs.

On cane sugar, which costs artificially more here in the U.S. thanks to them – in order to punish the manufacture of “cheap” sugar outside the U.S.

It is why American-made soda – not just Coke – is generally sweetened with HFC instead of cane sugar.

Almost everything else, too.

The soda sweetener switcheroo happened back in the ’80s. You may be old enough to remember. Real Coke was replaced with New Coke, which was Coke with HFC instead of sugar. Then – after an uproar – came Classic Coke, which wasn’t Coke. Because it was made with HFC, too.

But it was cheaper to make and sell  than real Coke with sugar.

Does the tariff on sugar benefit American soda drinkers? Their waistlines – and much-upticked tendency toward obesity and diabetes – provides the answer.

Cheapness – especially when it is artificial – has its price.

Not surprisingly, many people wise to the costs of HFC are willing to pay a little extra to get Mexican Coke – real Coke –  made with cane sugar. Or the more expensive boutique sodas which are made here, with artificially expensive cane sugar.

But if it weren’t for the tariffs on sugar, they wouldn’t have to go to Mexico (so to speak) to get a real Coke. They would be able to buy American-made Coke – without HFC.

And it wouldn’t be artificially expensive.

No one blames the Mexicans for HFC-laden American-made sodas. The problem is not enough people blame the U.S. government for the fact that they are effectively forced to drink HFC-laden sodas – or pay extra for sodas without the HFC.

The sugar isn’t naturally expensive. But the tariffs are.

Now the Orange One wants to apply tariffs to vehicles, apparently on the same principle – and it will have the same effects.

To continue reading: Real Coke and Car Tariffs


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