In general, DonPedro is correct. U.S. tariffs are not a primary factor pushing food prices. But there is one tariff, which Obama supports and McCain opposes, that one can argue plays at least an indirect role in food prices. And that’s the tariff on sugar-based ethanol. At present the U.S. imposes a 54 cent per gallon tariff on imports of sugar-based ethanol. This is primarily at the behest of the corn lobby, because American corn-based ethanol cannot compete against Brazilian sugar-cane-based ethanol.
Andrew does admit that Obama once said in an interview that he was open to the idea of changing our ethanol policy. Let’s hope as President he does so.