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Talkin’ ‘bout Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

By Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach

  • “By Spring of 1942, Americans were unable to purchase sugar without using government issued coupon books. Long lines were often seen outside stores where sugar would quickly be sold out before those in line had a chance to purchase it. Families would often have to pool their sugar together to make a single birthday cake. . . . The shortages and demands created during World War II were the impetus for U.S. sugar policy today which favors domestic production and limits imports.” – Spike Jordan, Star-Herald, 2/25/18


  • “State intervention in sugar supply has a long history. The (UK) Government encouraged sugar beet production as early as the trade blockades of the Napoleonic wars in the 19th century, then in the 1930s it nationalised all companies processing sugar. Sugar was that important. We could not get enough of the white stuff, so we decided to own it.” – Vicki Hird of


  • “We cannot depend on foreign sugar producers to meet America’s need.  We’ll get burned if we do. . . . The National Confectioners Association wants the United States to become the only country ever to not have any government intervention in sugar. . . . They want to drive you out of business, and outsource our production to Brazil, Thailand and Mexico.  They want that sugar subsidized by tax payers somewhere, and they realize that we won’t subsidize it by tax-payers here in the United States, so let it be subsidized somewhere else.” – Phillip Hayes, American Sugar Alliance


  • “We grow sugar, where prices are lower today than they were in 1980. Unfortunately for beet and cane farmers, the cost of fuel, seed, fertilizer, and other inputs has risen dramatically during that time, creating an economic squeeze.  We’ve also faced hurricanes, freezes, diseases, pests, and a host of other challenges – and that’s just here at home. Subsidized foreign sugar has been the biggest industry and job killer of all.” – Catherine LaCour Louisiana sugarcane grower and Joel Gasper, Minnesota sugarbeet grower


  • “(M)any lawmakers aren’t aware of the real risk farming entails because none of them have actually raised a crop  and experienced all of the highs and lows in getting it to the market.  In the past few years Mexico broke US trade law by dumping subsidized sugar onto the market. It has stopped since July 2017, but growers are still facing low prices because of it.” – Kevin Mooney, KTIC radio


  • “No one here wants a handout. . . . We want to be treated fairly, but unfortunately we are not being treated fairly right now. It’s been four years since Mexico broke U.S. trade law and wrecked our market with a flood of subsidized sugar.” – Kendall Busch, President, Nebraska Sugarbeet Growers Association


  • “The latest sugar deal, agreed last June, sought to resolve a years-long dispute between the governments.  A U.S. sugar industry coalition, which in 2014 petitioned the government for protection from cheap, subsidized imports from Mexico, requested in late December that the Department of Commerce review the latest pact.” – Reuters, 2/27/18