CGD in the News

These Sugar Barons Built an $8 Billion Fortune With Washington’s Help (Bloomberg Politics)

August 9, 2017
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From the article:

As Cuban refugees, the Fanjuls have a familiar story to tell. They fled the revolution. Fidel Castro’s forces seized everything they owned on the island, business interests, homes, a fortune in fine art.

But they didn’t arrive in Florida in 1960 empty handed. Patriarch Alfonso Fanjul Sr., one of the world’s most prosperous sugar barons before Castro came onto the scene, had piled up assets in the U.S. Within two years, he’d acquired new refining plants and begun to recreate the Fanjul empire in exile.

Now his two oldest sons are barons themselves, and among the most effective political donors in America. They have the Trump administration’s ear as it aims to rewrite Nafta -- with protections for U.S. sugar growers and millers firmly baked in...

Recently, the Fanjuls’ lobbying focus has been the North American Free Trade Agreement. The plan when it was signed in 1992 was for Mexican sugar sales to the U.S. to be liberalized by 2008, but the Fanjuls and other producers and refiners successfully challenged that in anti-dumping complaints to the Commerce Department.

That “is a pretty good sign of their power and influence,” said Kimberly Ann Elliott, a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development.

Read full article here.