An OECD paper (2002) calculates that rich countries now subsidise their industries by up to $1,000m a year, including more than $300bn in agriculture. This is having increasing effects on the development of poor countries and on environmental degradation. If unrestricted market access were given to just the four richest economies in the world, it would increase per capita incomes of more than 2 billion people in the world's most populated countries by 4% a year.
If US sugar price supports and protectionist barriers to imports are dropped, and the industry is forced to pay the full US costs of its water and drainage works, sugar production in South Florida (and other high cost producing areas) will fall dramatically. Consumers will benefit; efficient foreign producers will benefit; and the principal threat to the Everglades will be resolved. This is a prime example of complementarity between trade and environment objectives. Trade liberalization accompanied by strengthened environmental protection and better resource management can be a "win-win" option for countries in the North and South.