Confectionery Industry Is Sour On U.S. Sugar Subsidies

Houston Chronicle
Op-ed By: Eric Atkinson, President, Atkinson Candy Co.

Excerpt: As the debate over reform of the U.S. sugar program heats up again in Washington, companies like mine continue to bear the brunt of legislative inaction. Our representatives in Congress should take any opportunity this year to adjust the costly sugar subsidy program because propping up the sugar-producing industry at the expense of taxpayers, consumers and businesses is unsustainable and unacceptable. This is one reason we are joining our industry colleagues in Washington, D.C., this week: to impress upon members of Congress, government officials and other key stakeholders the important economic impact our industry has on the country.

The industry’s growth is being stifled by outdated policies like the U.S. sugar program. The United States is home to some of the highest sugar prices of any major market in the world – 58 percent higher than the European Union. Congress has had opportunities to reform the sugar subsidy program on previous occasions, but high sugar prices continue to hold us back. We need a policy and regulatory environment that will keep the economy vibrant and continue to create opportunities for us to provide jobs here in Texas and in communities across the country.

Read the full op-ed here.