Orlando — In an op-ed, the editorial board of the Orlando Sentinel has pointed out the flawed logic of the protectionist U.S. sugar program, noting it is a bad economic policy that favors one industry at the expense of the broader economy.
“The federal government doesn’t pay taxpayer subsidies directly to sugar growers under the program. Instead, it props up prices for U.S. growers through a series of interventions in the free market, including setting a minimum price for sugar, restricting foreign imports, limiting domestic production and buying up surplus sugar,” the board wrote.
As a result of the program, U.S. businesses and consumers pay from $2.4 billion to $4 billion a year more for sugar, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
While sugar growers employ around 142,000, including 12,500 Floridians, according to the editorial board, the program costs three jobs in food manufacturing for every one job saved in sugar production.
“Members of both parties in both chambers are lining up behind a bill known as the Sugar Policy Modernization Act; it would reduce artificially high U.S. sugar prices by rolling back or eliminating price-support measures in the program,” the board wrote, noting it is a rare piece of legislation that has wide support from consumer, business and environmental groups.
The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy is furthering the cause by bringing together diverse organizations, including NCA, American Bakers Association, Taxpayers Protection Alliance and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that are all devoted to reforming the U.S. sugar program. For more details on the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy, or to find out how you can get involved in the reform movement, visit fairsugarpolicy.org.