WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 17, 2018) – Today, the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy (AFSP) released a broad-based coalition letter to Congress, encouraging members to modernize the outdated and outrageous U.S. sugar program. Backed by American small businesses, manufacturers, food and beverage companies, think tanks, environmental advocates, and other organizations, the group believes this year’s Farm Bill provides an opportunity for Congress to address the problems associated with the 80-year-old U.S. sugar program.
“The sugar program is a complicated mess that protects a handful of very large co-ops and sugar mega-processors to the detriment of American small businesses and food manufacturers as well as the hundreds of thousands of families that rely on manufacturing jobs for their livelihoods,” the letter states. “From New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to California, Texas, and Florida, members of the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy and other organizations have raised their voices to call for modest reform that would provide relief to small businesses without hurting the farming
The sugar program is a complicated bureaucratic mess of price supports, market allocations, quotas, and government guarantees that are ultimately covered by taxpayer dollars. Moreover, the program forces manufacturers to pay twice as much for sugar as the rest of the world, putting American businesses at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to creating jobs. Click here to view a one-minute animated video that explains the issue.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, every sugar-processing job subsidized through artificially high U.S. sugar prices costs three American manufacturing jobs. The impact on the economy is so great that the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the sugar program killed 123,000 jobs between 1997 and 2015. Click here to learn the impact of the U.S. sugar program on your state’s economy.
The sugar program has zero benefit for the American consumer, and this “sugar shakedown” is baked into nearly every food, snack, and treat available in grocery store aisles. Independent estimates show this hidden tax costs Americans between $2.4 and $4 billion each year.
The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / SB. 2086), introduced by a bicameral, bipartisan group of federal lawmakers late last year, would reform the outdated and outrageous program. The proposal creates an adequate supply of sugar based on a reasonable competitive approach that reaches from the farm to the retail shelf – without risking an appropriate safety net for farmers. Congress can reform the U.S. sugar program this year as part of its consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill, which sets government agriculture policy.
“While we are calling for modest reform, the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy was not formed to eliminate or dismantle the U.S. sugar program. In fact, we believe the family farmer and the families that depend on food manufacturing workers should be at the center of the conversation and debate around agriculture policy in this country,” the letter concludes. “It’s time to say yes to fairness, yes to competitiveness, and yes to protecting and creating American jobs.”
You can find a full copy of the letter here. Signers of the letter include:
- American Bakers Association
- American Frozen Food Institute
- Americans for Tax Reform
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Consumer Federation of America
- Consumer Choice Center
- Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
- Everglades Trust
- Grocery Manufacturers Association
- Independent Bakers Association
- National Association of Manufacturers
- National Confectioners Association
- National Consumers League
- Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association
- Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
- SNAC International
- Sweetener Users Association
- Taxpayers Protection Alliance
The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy (AFSP) is a broad-based coalition advocating to modernize the outdated and outrageous U.S. sugar program. Formed by a sizable group of small, family-owned businesses and manufacturers, retailers, food and beverage companies, trade associations, environmental advocates, taxpayer watchdog organizations, responsible government advocates, think tanks, and other organizations, the group’s goal is to help level the playing field for American manufacturers and their families when it comes to being able to create jobs. To learn more about the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy and the need for sugar reform, please visit FairSugarPolicy.org.
For more information about the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy, please visit FairSugarPolicy.org.