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This Week in U.S. Sugar Policy

by Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach

In an op-ed published by the (Florida) Sun Sentinel, Philip Hayes of the American Sugar Alliance provided some facts conveniently ducked by opponents of the U.S. sugar program…

  • Sugar is now the world’s most distorted market with 120 foreign nations heavily subsidizing production.
  • Current global prices don’t even cover half the cost of production.
  • Foreign government interference in the market has led to inhuman working conditions and environmental atrocities abroad.
  • U.S. sugar policy ensures a safe and affordable homegrown product, doesn’t provide direct subsidies, and is America’s least expensive commodity program, costing taxpayers $0.
  • America’s sugar industry backs a reform plan to end all government subsidies around the world so a true free market can form.

Houma Today reports that “Louisiana’s sugar-cane industry is hailing the Farm Bill signed into law last week by President Donald Trump as a victory.”

“Policy provisions in the bill keep subsidized foreign sugar from flooding the market…said Charles Schudmak, president of the Thibodaux-based American Sugar Cane League, which lobbied for the measure.”

The paper noted that “Louisiana produces about one fifth of the nation’s domestic sugar, an industry that employs 27,000 people across the state.” reports that “Brian Grunenfelder, former deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative (U.S.T.R.) in the Office of Agricultural Affairs, has joined the American Sugar Alliance (A.S.A.) as an in-house consultant.”

“America’s sugar farmers are increasingly under threat from unfair foreign subsidies and malicious trade practices,” said Ryan Weston, chairman of the ASA. “Brian has the expertise to navigate these varied international challenges and will be an invaluable asset in shaping sugar policy here at home.”

Reinforcing the danger of relying on foreign sugar for America’s needs, the Wall Street Journal reports the cost of sugar is again on the rise due primarily to severe drought conditions in Brazil, the world’s #1 sugar producer.

“Globally, sugar production still exceeds consumption, according to the USDA,” the WSJ reports.  “However, should Brazil’s drought conditions worsen, a resulting deficit could eat into world supply – causing prices to jump.”