Washington, DC (May 7, 2018) – Today the Sweetener Users Association (SUA) welcomed outreach by free market and taxpayer fairness groups to Congress, urging members to reform the U.S. sugar program in the 2018 Farm Bill. SUA was responding to a letter sent last week by Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners to members of the U.S. House of Representatives calling for subsidy reform in the Farm Bill and a letter sent by a coalition of groups – Campaign for Liberty, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Coalition to Reduce Spending, Club for Growth, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, Independent Women’s Forum, Independent Women’s Voice, John Locke Foundation, R Street Institute, Rio Grande Foundation, Taxpayers for Common Sense and Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
“These groups have got it right: members of Congress who support free market ideals and fairness for American taxpayers and consumers should strongly throw their support behind sugar program modernization in the Farm Bill,” said Rick Pasco, President of SUA and Co-Chair of the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy. “In its current form, the program is the most egregious example of government interference in what should be a free and open sugar market. And it’s not working well. Consider that thanks to the sugar program, American consumers pay an annual hidden tax of between $2.4 to $4 billion on sugar-containing products; taxpayers paid $259 million just a few years ago to bail out sugar processors; and for every sugar-processing job subsidized by higher U.S. sugar prices, three manufacturing jobs are lost.”
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. More than 600,000 American workers are employed in these industries and their jobs are at risk. 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.
SUA supports thebipartisan, 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. This legislation is likely to be introduced as an amendment to the Farm Bill, and SUA urges policymakers to support it.