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Congressman Robert Dold Visits Jelly Belly to Address Local Small Businesses about the High Cost of Sugar

Illinois Business Owners Have a Right to Know How Big Government's Control of Sugar Prices Impacts Sugar-using Companies Across the State

What:                  
Congressman Robert Dold (R-IL) will be available to speak with reporters and answer questions about the Free Sugar Act (H.R. 1739) and the impact of the U.S. sugar program on the state of Illinois.

When:                 
Thursday, June 9 at 11:30 a.m. (CDT)

Where:                               
Jelly Belly Candy Co.
1501 Morrow Avenue
North Chicago, IL

Media                  
Trudi Boyd and Chris Coleman for the Coalition for Sugar Reform

Contacts:            
Trudi Boyd: (202) 346-8841, Trudi.Boyd@fd.com
Chris Coleman: (202) 247-5986, Christopher.coleman@candyusa.com
Stefani Zimmerman for Congressman Dold: (202) 695-5703, Stefani.zimmerman@mail.house.gov

(Chicago, IL) June 8, 2011 - On Thursday, June 9, the Coalition for Sugar Reform and Jelly Belly will welcome Congressman Robert Dold (R-IL) as he meets with small businesses, local bakers, and confectioners during an intimate roundtable discussion on the high cost of sugar and the impact of the current U.S. sugar program on Illinois consumers.

"Small bakers and confectioners are hurt most by the current U.S. sugar program by denying them access to the competitive world sugar market," said Congressman Dold. "Moreover, families across the state of Illinois and across the country pay a hidden tax on all sugar-containing products. By eliminating U.S. sugar price controls and quotas, Congress can reverse this wasteful policy."

The current U.S. sugar program has contributed to the loss of an estimated 112,000 jobs in American sugar-using industries between 1997 and 2009 alone, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data. In fact, the Commerce Department estimated that for every sugar growing job saved through high U.S. sugar prices, approximately three manufacturing jobs are lost. In 2007 alone, Illinois employed nearly 34,000 workers in confectionery and other food and beverage manufacturing jobs across the state.

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"We are pleased to welcome Congressman Dold and our colleagues in the baking and confectionery industry for a frank discussion about the true costs of the sugar program and what it means for Illinois consumers and businesses," said Bill Kelley, Vice Chairman of Jelly Belly Candy Co. "We are grateful to the Congressman for his leadership to protect small businesses against high sugar prices that eliminate thousands of American jobs and cause plants and factories to move off-shore."

Congressman Dold is a strong advocate for reform of the U.S. sugar program. Just last month, he championed the effort with his introduction of the Free Sugar Act (H.R. 1739), which was co-sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim Moran (D-VA). The legislation is a companion bill to S. 685, introduced earlier this year by Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, and would promote jobs, fight consumer price inflation, and reduce both the budget deficit and the level of government interference in private markets. The Free Sugar Act is among a growing number of sugar reform bills introduced recently, including the Free Market Sugar Act (H.R. 1385) by Reps. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Danny Davis (D-IL).

"The U.S. sugar program supports sugar producers at the expense of Illinois families and employers, and it must be reformed," concluded Congressman Dold. "Congress should no longer maintain an old and inefficient policy that destroys good-paying American jobs."

Illinoisans who would like to help champion U.S. sugar policy reform efforts are encouraged to contact their Member of Congress and urge them to join Congressman Dold in putting an end to "big government's" control of sugar prices by co-sponsoring the Free Sugar Act of 2011 (H.R. 1739, S. 685).