About the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy
The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy is a broad-based 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.
Our group is led by the National Confectioners Association and the Sweetener Users Association, which count among their membership hundreds of American companies that include sugar as an ingredient in the products they make and employ more than 600,000 American workers.
The Bitter Truth About U.S. Sugar Policy
For years Congress has missed opportunities to reform the U.S. sugar program. This outdated and outrageous program has not been modernized in 80 years. It is a rigged system that protects a concentrated group of 13 mega-processors at the risk of American small businesses and workers.
This sugar shakedown is baked into nearly every food, snack and treat, which results in zero benefit for the American consumer. The U.S. sugar program forces manufacturers to pay twice as much for sugar as the rest of the world, putting American small businesses at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to creating jobs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the sugar program killed 123,000 jobs between 1997 and 2015. The American Enterprise Institute estimates that the program costs small businesses and consumers $2.4 – $4 billion a year.
Some in Congress believe that we should wait for agriculture policies in other countries around the world to change before we address this problem here at home. It’s time to stop pretending that the need to reform the U.S. sugar program is about how other countries operate their governments. Right now these mega-processors operate at zero risk year-in and year-out while American small businesses and manufacturers get zero access to an adequate supply of sugar at a fair price and American manufacturing jobs are put in jeopardy.
There is a simple, bipartisan solution. The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / S. 2086) is modest in scope and doesn’t abolish the program or hurt farmers. It is a spoonful of fairness that 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.
It’s time for Congress to say yes to fairness, yes to competitiveness, and yes to protecting and creating American jobs.