Washington, D.C. (April 18, 2018) – Today, during the House Agriculture Committee’s markup of the 2018 Farm Bill, there was no discussion of the U.S. sugar program – the only commodity subsidy program that has not been modernized in the past 80 years. It 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.
“The House Agriculture Committee had an opportunity to serve a spoonful of fairness into the sugar program, but failed to do so. The inaction is confounding, considering the sugar program benefits only 13 sugar mega-processors, with zero benefit for American consumers,” said Jennifer Cummings, spokesperson for the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy. “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 this country. We look forward to a robust floor debate so members of the House have an opportunity to modernize the sugar program.”
The program is a job killer. 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 that the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the sugar program killed 123,000 jobs between 1997 and 2015. The program also puts in jeopardy the jobs of more than 600,000 people who are employed in every state across the country by small, family-owned businesses and other food manufacturers that include sugar as an ingredient in the products they make.
It’s time to say yes to fairness, yes to competitiveness and yes to protecting and creating American jobs.
The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / S. 2086) was introduced by a bicameral, bipartisan group of lawmakers late last year and would reform the outdated and outrageous program.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 – preserving the sugar program 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.
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.