Are you ready to boycott Oreo cookies? Columnists like Marilyn Katz and presidential candidates like Donald Trump say they are ready to stop eating Oreos because Nabisco’s parent company shut down its Chicago plant and decided to layoff 600 workers. Meanwhile, they are ramping up Oreo-making operations in Mexico.
Oreos are an all-American sandwich cookie that was invented by the National Biscuit Company in 1912. We all enjoy the indulgence of dunking them in cold milk. But shipping 600 jobs to Mexico was enough for some people, and they plan to boycott Oreos.
While people want to blame Nabisco’s parent company for the move, they should look at government policies. A major ingredient in Oreos is sugar. But the U.S. sugar program created this job-killing action. Americans pay twice the average world price for sugar. Thus, industries that use sugar have a big incentive to relocate from the United States to other countries.
Oreos are also manufactured in a number of other states (New Jersey, Oregon, and Virginia). But how long will it be before some of those cookie factories move due to the protectionist trade practices? Oreos are not just an American cookie. Oreos are a global brand that probably should be produced in other countries.
There is another reason. Oreos in Mexico will now be produced by the biggest cookie factory in the world. Frankly, it was cheaper to move jobs to that plant than to refurbish a plant in Chicago and pay unionized workers. And let’s not forget that the United States has the highest corporate income tax in the world.
We may lament the loss of jobs from America to other countries, but we don’t have to look any further than government taxes, regulations, and policies that are to blame. That’s how the cookie crumbles.