A proposal for a Fair Sugar Policy Act of 2019 would provide relief for consumers and businesses by reforming the U.S. sugar program.
The Fair Sugar Policy Act of 2019 would:
– lift restrictions on the domestic production and sale of refined sugar,
– reduce taxpayer liability for sugar processor loan forfeitures,
– ensure that the domestic demand for sugar is considered when the USDA administers the sugar program
– reduce market distortions caused by sugar import quotas.
The initiators of the act are Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Danny K. Davis (D-I.L.), along with Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
“There is one single commodity program that has not been reformed in over 80 years, and it’s the U.S. sugar program. Despite its toll on manufacturing jobs and up to USD4bn annual costs to consumers, year after year the government guarantees the sugar industry its profits,” stated representative Virginia Foxx.
“The current U.S. sugar policy has kept the cost high for our Chicago-land area candy manufacturers and food processors. Our food processors that used sugar as an ingredient in their products pay twice as much for domestic sugar than the rest of the world. Chicago has lost thousands of jobs due to the protection programs for the sugar growers. We need sugar reform so that food companies are not forced to make difficult choices that affect thousands of jobs,” stated representative Danny K. Davis.
“This bipartisan bill will help make reasonable, common-sense changes to the federal sugar support program to change harmful policies and help grow American businesses. It’s time for Congress to put special interests aside and work to reduce costs and protect American workers in New Hampshire and across the country,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
The Sweetener Users Association Supports the Act
The Sweetener Users Association (SUA) has praised the bipartisan, bicameral Fair Sugar Policy Act, saying the bill would provide much-needed relief to U.S. manufacturers, workers, and consumers.
“American food and beverage manufacturers applaud the Fair Sugar Policy Act for the commonsense reform it would bring to the outdated and unnecessarily costly U.S. sugar program. We are grateful to Senators Shaheen and Toomey and Representatives Foxx and Davis for their continued leadership on efforts to provide relief to the millions of Americans who enjoy sugar-using products — as well as the U.S. manufacturers and their employees who make them,” said Rick Pasco, president of the Sweetener Users Association (SUA).
The Fair Sugar Policy Act would modernize the U.S. sugar program by eliminating marketing allotments that are unique to sugar production; providing more flexibility to the USDA to ensure an adequate sugar supply to the domestic market; eliminating unnecessary trade restrictions; providing for the temporary transfer of unused import quotas to other countries with import quotas; and repealing the Feedstock Flexibility Program, among other updates.
These reforms would modernize a government subsidy program that has cost American consumers USD2.4bn or more per year and has contributed to the loss of 123,000 American manufacturing jobs between 1997 and 2015, according to the Association.