Trade Lesson 6 Ethical Issues Activity on Sugar Prices
Trade Lesson 6 Ethical Issues Activity on Sugar Prices

Time: 60 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking and Cross-Cultural Communications
Objective 5
Related Resources:
- Global Sugar Trade. (2007, February 7).Globalization101. Retrieved from:

“Since 1953 there have been various attempts to raise and stabilise world sugar prices through international agreement. The latest agreement in 1977, established export quotas for its parties and intervention stocks in order to withdraw sugar from the market when prices were low. Like most of the previous ones, this agreement ended in failure. This failure was due in part to the fact that the European Union – one of the largest exporters – refused to sign the agreement. The agreement expired in 1984 and no further agreement on price-stabilising measures has been achieved.” 

Divide the class into groups: U.S., Europe, Brazil, African Sugar Exporters. Each group will need to research the sugar industry in their country/region, taking into consideration the corporations, farmers, refiners, and other domestic interest groups. Each group will write a 2 page position paper on what the country/region wants in an international sugar agreement, covering these five issues: market access, export quoats, import quotas, domestic subsidies, and tariffs.

In class, all four groups will meet and negotiate a position paper that outlines the new sugar agreement, covering all five major issues.  If a comprehensive agreement cannot be reached, other options can be considered. Students must think creatively to develop these alternatives.

After the negotiations, each student should write a one-page reflection comparing and contrasting their own group’s position to that of another group.

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