SUA Calls for Floor Debate on Sugar Program Modernization
Washington, DC (April 18, 2018) – Following today’s markup of the 2018 Farm Bill in the House Agriculture Committee, the Sweetener Users Association (SUA) called on congressional leaders to ensure sugar program modernization is debated on the House floor.
“By uncritically bowing to the demands of the sugar lobby to simply extend current failed sugar policies without any effort at reform, today’s markup was unfortunately just a ‘check-the-box’ exercise to push the bill through committee swiftly. Unfortunately, this is just more of the same, and what America’s food and beverage manufacturers and the more than 600,000 Americans they employ need is modernization of the sugar program,” said Rick Pasco, President of SUA and Co-Chair of the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy. “Right now, sugar policy benefits a small group of sugar processing corporations and cooperatives at the expense of everyone else in the country.”
The sugar program impacts every American consumer and the ability of American food and beverage manufacturers who use sugar in the products they make to compete in the global marketplace. That is because while their competitors in Canada, for example, can access sugar at the world price, American manufacturers are forced to pay twice as much, hampering their ability to generate economic growth in their local communities and create and sustain jobs.
America’s unfair sugar policy led to the loss of 123,000 jobs between 1997 and 2015. The Department of Commerce also estimates that for every sugar-processing job subsidized by higher U.S. sugar prices, three manufacturing jobs are lost.
“This Congress has an opportunity to ensure fairness in America’s sugar policy both for those who produce sugar and those who consume it, including U.S. manufacturers and the American people. It’s just common sense,” said Pasco.
SUA supports the bipartisan, bicameral Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R.4265 / S.2086), which would make modest reforms to the sugar program, while maintaining a safety net for farmers.