American Shipper Magazine
By: Chris Gillis
Excerpt: A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation Thursday that would reform a Great Depression-era national sugar program.
The legislation will give the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s secretary the flexibility to adjust marketing allotments and import quotas as needed to stabilize the U.S. sugar market.
The Coalition for Sugar Reform, which supports the 2015 Sugar Reform Act legislation, said the current U.S. sugar program consists of price supports, marketing allotments and tariff-rate quotas that “manipulate the U.S. market to limit the amount of sugar available while also guaranteeing a minimum price for sugar – all to prop up the already profitable U.S. sugar producers.”
The industry coalition said the current sugar policy costs consumers up to $3.5 billion annually in the form of a hidden taxes and taxpayers nearly $300 million in fiscal year 2013 due to loan forfeitures, implementation of the sugar program’s Feed Stock Flexibility Program and other government actions. The Congressional Budget Office, in its January 2015 Baseline for Farm Programs, forecasts the U.S. sugar program will cost taxpayers an additional $163 million over the next 10 years.
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