Wall Street Journal
By: Alexandra Wexler
U.S. candy makers are hoping that trade partnerships can get them what the farm bill could not—access to more sugar from the global market.
U.S. sugar users, including bakers and candy companies, have been fighting to overhaul the federal price-support program for the sweetener for decades.
Last month, they lost their latest battle when the farm bill–where agricultural policy is set for the next five years–was signed into law with no changes to U.S. sugar policy. So for now, the price supports and the import restrictions that force U.S. companies to pay more for sugar than many of their international rivals remain in place. But candy makers aren’t waiting another half decade to tackle the program again.
“There are other ways that we can impact gaining additional access to sugar,” said Liz Clark, vice president of government affairs at the National Confectioners Association, an industry group, on the sidelines of a conference in Miami. “We have some opportunities in the trade sphere now.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pending trade pact that would include the U.S., Japan, Australia and nine other countries, is the candy group’s next target as a vehicle for sugar reform.
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