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NEW STUDY: U.S. Sugar Industry Good for the Economy, Jobs

(Chuck Muth) – A new study was released this month on the “Economic Impact of the U.S. Sugar Industry” which was conducted by the Agricultural and Food Policy Center.

The report points out that – despite the current U.S. sugar program of limited tariffs and quotas on sugar-producing countries that heavily subsidize their product and sell below the actual cost of production – the United States is one of the world’s largest sugar importers, providing essentially duty-free access to more than 40 countries.

In addition, the report also notes that while other essential products “experienced pandemic related shortages,” the U.S. sugar industry maintained a consistent supply throughout the pandemic.”

Some additional highlights…

  • The U.S. sugar industry contributes over $23 billion to the U.S. economy annually
  • The industry is responsible for more than 37,000 direct jobs and almost 150,000 indirect jobs
  • In the Red River Valley straddling North Dakota and Minnesota, the sugarbeet industry supports almost 33,000 jobs and contributes around $5 million annually to the two states’ economies
  • In the small town of Renville, MN – with a population of 1,300 residents – the sugarbeet industry provides 370 full-time jobs and another 360 seasonal jobs
  • In Idaho – ranked second in sugarbeet production – the industry provides almost 20,000 jobs and contributes $2.3 billion annually to the state’s economy
  • In Louisiana, the sugarcane industry provides over 19,000 jobs and contributes over $4 billion annually to the state’s economy
  • In Texas, the sugarcane industry provides over 2,3000 jobs and contributes $218 million to the state’s economy
  • In Florida – which produces half of the nation’s sugarcane – the industry provides just over 19,000 jobs and contributes almost $5 billion annually to the state’s economy

The U.S. sugar industry is an American success story thanks to the effectiveness of the U.S. sugar program.  And when something works…don’t fix it.

Free Market Sugar is a project of Citizen Outreach, a non-partisan grassroots advocacy organization