Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2018) – In response to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway’s release of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy (AFSP) released the following statement:
“For families whose livelihoods depend on the more than 600,000 American manufacturing jobs in sugar-using industries in every state across the country, the Farm Bill released today is a major disappointment. That’s because it lacks critical modernization of the U.S. sugar program, which is supported by a broad coalition of consumer, business and environmental groups and Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate. It is the only commodity subsidy program that has not been modernized in the past 80 years.
“Once again, the voices of these families have been shut out of the debate. It’s time for the family farmer AND the families that depend on manufacturing workers to be at the center of the conversation around agriculture policy in America.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher for American small businesses and manufacturing families. The sugar program forces U.S. 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. 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 is so great, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the sugar program killed 123,000 jobs between 1997 and 2015. With their livelihoods at stake, American workers cannot afford to wait as Congress kicks the can down the road yet again.
“Yesterday, the Chairman released a video calling for modernizing the nutrition title of the Farm Bill in the name of ‘getting the policy right.’ If this Congress really wants to ‘get the policy right’ in the bill, then it’s time to modernize the U.S. sugar program. It’s time to say yes to fairness, yes to competitiveness, and yes to protecting and creating American jobs.”
The AFSP supports the Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / S. 2086), which was introduced by a bicameral, bipartisan group of lawmakers late last year and would reform the outdated and outrageous program. The proposal would help ensure an adequate supply of sugar at reasonable prices, so there is some competition in the U.S. market – while preserving the sugar program and not risking an appropriate safety net for farmers. The bill would not abolish the program or hurt farmers. Congress can reform the U.S. sugar program this year as part of its consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Click here to view a one-minute animated video that explains the issue.
Click here to learn more about the impact of the sugar program on your state.
Click here to hear directly from small business owners and employees across the country being hurt by the sugar program.
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 sizeable 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.