Reforming the U.S. Sugar Program


History & Background

The U.S. is home to some of the highest sugar prices of any major market in the world, because of Depression-era policies preserved by large political donations by sugar producers.

U.S. prices for sugar are artificially inflated as a result of special protections put in place by the federal government, including limits on domestic production and imports, industry loans, and forced purchases.

Impact on the Food Industry

Companies that include sugar as an ingredient in their products employ 600,000 people in the U.S. The sugar program hurts small, family-owned businesses that are the backbone of our economy and drivers of growth by forcing manufacturers to pay twice as much for sugar as the rest of the world. This puts American businesses at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to creating jobs.

The sugar program has killed about 123,000 jobs since 1997, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For every one sugar producing job saved by high U.S. sugar prices, approximately three American manufacturing jobs are lost.

Action For Candy Advocates

The U.S. sugar program puts a heavy burden on small, family-owned businesses that are the backbone of our economy and key drivers of growth. For years congress has missed opportunities to reform the sugar subsidy program. Despite numerous hearings and a protracted public debate on various aspects of our nation’s agriculture policy, the sugar program is the only commodity program that has gone untouched by federal lawmakers.

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