Americans for Tax Reform: U.S. Sugar Program ‘Not So Sweet for the Economy’

In a recent blog post published on the Americans for Tax Reform website, the group details the costs of U.S. sugar program on American consumers, writing:

“Sugar prices in the United States are kept artificially high through a 3-part system of economic controls.  First, the government imposes a rigid quota system on sugar production. … This cartel structure makes it illegal for producers to sell sugar that exceeds their given quota. The government further controls the sugar market through a two-tiered tariff system that allows U.S. growers to provide about 85% of the market and keeps prices artificially high. Finally, the federal government operates a complicated loan system to ensure sugar prices do not fall below a government-mandated price floor. …

“These market control methods work out very well for the approximately 4,700 United States sugar growers who benefit from them. For millions of US consumers, taxpayers, and workers however, the costs of these policies far outweigh any benefit.

“Analysts estimate that US consumers and businesses pay anywhere from $3.5 to $4.5 billion in higher costs due to the government’s inflation of sugar prices. Taxpayers too, shoulder the burden of the government’s intrusion in the sugar market. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the surplus sugar the government buys and sells, at a loss, to ethanol producers, will cost taxpayers $374 million over the next decade.”

To read the full blog post, click here.

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