Washington, DC — The Orlando Sentinel, in anticipation of the upcoming discussions on farm bill and the topic of sugar reform, published an editorial written by NCA President & CEO John Downs today.
The article — End Tangle of Sugar Price Supports that Bow to Crony Capitalism — said in part “It’s time for lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to set a level playing field for consumers and businesses and reform this Depression-era policy.”
Downs also pointed out the U.S. sugar program “is a complicated tangle of price supports, market allotments, import quotas and government-guaranteed loans. The program artificially inflates sugar prices by limiting sugar imports and setting a guaranteed minimum price for sugar. Because of this, the U.S. has some of the highest sugar prices of any major market in the world.”
Maintaining that the program costs American consumers an extra $3.5 billion per year, he noted nearly every consumer and a large number of businesses are harmed by the policy, while only 14 sugar-producing corporations benefit.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, according to Downs, 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 cost about 132,000 jobs since 1997, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In addition, America’s chocolate and candy companies alone support 465,000 jobs, “and when Congress reforms the sugar program, we’re ready to create even more.” CST