Cost to Manufacturers = Plant Closures and Loss of American Jobs
A number of economic studies have been commissioned to evaluate the real costs of the current U.S. sugar program, which is directly responsible for the loss of thousands of U.S. food manufacturing jobs. Here are just some of the facts:
- According to statistics and a study from the U.S. Department of Commerce:
- The U.S. sugar program played a major role in the loss of thousands of jobs in sugar-using industries.
- Between 1997 and 2011, nearly 127,000 jobs were lost in sugar-using industries alone.
- Of the 12 sugar-using industries, 11 experienced a decline in employment ranging from 4-35 percent (non-chocolate confectionery manufacturers had the highest percentage of job losses).
- Domestic sugar-using industries have seen an employment decline of 17 percent over a 13-year period, yet American food and beverage sectors that do not use substantial amounts of sugar grew by more than three percent.
- For every sugar growing job in the United States saved through artificially high U.S. sugar prices, approximately three American manufacturing jobs are lost.
- In the past, the U.S. price for refined sugar ran anywhere from 64 to 92 percent higher than the average world price.
- This artificial situation creates a major economic incentive for manufacturers to import sugar-containing products or relocate plants and factories outside of the United States.
- American sugar producers benefit from the current federal policy, at the expense of U.S. sugar-using companies and consumers.
- Only 3,913 sugar beet farms and 666 sugar cane farms benefit from the federal sugar program, which are supported at the expense of thousands of lost food manufacturing jobs in the United States.
- In contrast, there are about 600,000 U.S. jobs in food industries that use sugar.
- Many U.S. sugar producers also receive additional federal support for other crops they produce, in addition to sugar.