Coalition for Sugar Reform Applauds Bill to Fix Flawed U.S. Sugar Program

 

Coalition for Sugar Reform Applauds Bill to Fix Flawed U.S. Sugar Program

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 7, 2017) – The Coalition for Sugar Reform, a broad-based group of food manufacturers, environmental advocates, responsible government advocates, and other organizations, applauds U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) for the introduction of bicameral, bipartisan legislation that would bring long overdue reform to the U.S. Sugar Program.

“We thank the sponsors of this legislation for their efforts to level the playing field for consumers and businesses by reforming this Depression-era policy,” John Downs, co-chair of the Coalition for Sugar Reform and president & CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said. “We look forward to working with members of Congress and other key stakeholders to support these critical reforms.”

The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (HR 4265 / SB 2086) draws bicameral, bipartisan support in Congress, as the existing sugar program harms companies that use sugar as an ingredient in their products while protecting a small group of politically well-connected sugar producers. Sugar was the only commodity program not reformed during the 2014 farm bill, resulting in billions in additional costs for businesses and consumers.

The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that for every sugar-producing job saved through sugar price supports, approximately three American manufacturing jobs are lost. All told, the sugar program has killed about 123,000 jobs since 1997, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with small, family-owned businesses having been impacted most.

“If we’re serious about creating long-term economic success, then we need to foster a better environment for small-business growth; we need to reform the sugar program now,” Downs said. “There is great potential for expanded factories, more jobs, and new U.S.-based facilities if the government permitted food and beverage companies to have access to fair prices on sugar.”

The Sugar Policy Modernization Act protects taxpayers and ensures accountability by requiring the sugar industry to pay back any taxpayer dollars they receive when they forfeit on government loans. The bill safeguards taxpayers and also removes a program whereby the Department of Agriculture tells sugar farmers how much sugar they can grow and sell. Reforming the sugar program will lift an existing hidden tax on Americans and make the sugar program work for everyone. Importantly, this legislation will ensure that the sugar program will operate at a true net zero cost to taxpayers.

To learn more about the Coalition for Sugar Reform and the need for sugar reform, please visit SugarReform.org.

# # #

About the Coalition for Sugar Reform

The Coalition for Sugar Reform is a broad-based group of food and beverage manufacturers, trade associations, environmental advocates, taxpayer watchdog organizations, responsible government advocates, think tanks and other organizations. The group is led by the National Confectioners Association and the Sweetener Users Association, which count among their membership the hundreds of American companies that use sugar as an ingredient in the products they make.