To Top

Exclamation Points Don’t Change the Facts about U.S. Sugar Policy

The efforts of Big Candy’s propaganda ministers are getting more desperate and more hysterical, as evidenced by all the exclamation points deployed in a short letter-to-the-editor rant put out recently by Nicholas Pyle of the Independent Bakers’ Lobby in response to the House killing an amendment to unilaterally gut the U.S. sugar program…

  • “Fortunately, not every member of Congress acted like a puppet!”
  • “(Rep. Niki Tsongas) is a stalwart opponent of the nation’s beet and cane sugar cartels and continues to fight for consumers!”
  • “So, when you go to the store to buy a snack cake or anything sweetened, you pay more!”
  • “Every day Congress fails, it’s another day that an American family pays more!”

Sorry, Mr. Pyle, but simply adding an exclamation point to the end of a sentence doesn’t make your argument true!  Or adding two exclamation points!!  Or three!!!

The fact is the cost to consumers of Made in America sugar is almost identical to what it was back when Reagan was president.  So if you’re paying more for snacky cakes or candy today, it’s not because of the price of sugar – which still accounts for all of two cents in your standard chocolate bar.

The reasons for American families paying more for sweets and treats today is the higher cost of labor, employee benefits, taxes, insurance, regulatory compliance, rent, utilities and, of course, profit-taking.

The U.S. sugar program protects U.S. farmers from unfair trading practices by many foreign competitors who, unlike American farmers, are directly subsidized by their governments.  That is not a “free market.”  That’s a distorted market.  It means foreign sugar is artificially low, not that American sugar is artificially high.

As President Trump declared recently, “Sorry, we cannot let our friends, or enemies, take advantage of us on Trade anymore. We must put the American worker first.”

And that is exactly what the proven U.S. sugar program has successfully done for years.  It provides a level playing field for America’s sugar farmers and refiners.  It forces everyone to play by the same rules.  And it does so at zero cost to American taxpayers.

Rather than pursue an “America Last” policy of gutting the U.S. sugar program, Congress should instead adopt Rep. Ted Yoho’s “America First” zero-for-zero resolution by which the U.S. would eliminate the current sugar policy in return for global competitors zeroing out their market-distorting sugar subsidies.

It’s an idea whose time has come!!!!