Alliance For Fair Sugar Policy calls on congress to modernize US sugar program
WASHINGTON — The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy (AFSP) announced today its broad-based coalition advocating to modernize the outdated and outrageous U.S. sugar program.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 launched today to help level the playing field for American manufacturers and their families when it comes to being able to create jobs.
“The family farmer and the families who depend on manufacturing workers should be at the center of modernizing the sugar program. Our modest approach is the right policy to protect and create jobs for both the family farmer and American manufacturing workers,” said John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association and co-chair of the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy. “There is a simple solution — it’s time for congress to say yes to fairness, yes to competitiveness, and yes to protecting and creating American manufacturing jobs.”
The sugar program is the only commodity subsidy program that has not been modernized in the past 80 years. It 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.
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.
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.
AFSP supports The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / S. 2086), which 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.
“For too long, consumers, small businesses and manufacturers have paid the price for an outdated program that hurts so many and benefits only a few. The sugar program is a complicated bureaucratic mess of price supports, market allocations, quotas, and government guarantees that are ultimately backstopped by taxpayer dollars,” Rick Pasco, president of the Sweetener Users Association and co-chair of the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy, said. “This is the time for this congress and this administration to do the right thing for American businesses and American workers.”
For more information about the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy, please visit FairSugarPolicy.org.