Members of Senate and House offices and media heard from Alliance experts about how Congress can address the high cost of food by making reasonable and targeted changes to the US sugar programme and why 2023 is the right time for these reforms.
During the panel discussion, AFSP Executive Director Grant Colvin highlighted why the political landscape in 2023 offers a prime opportunity to modernise sugar policy to meet the needs of today’s economy. Colvin explained how bipartisan, commonsense reform to the sugar programme could deliver positive, lasting impacts to small businesses, consumers, and constituents in every district.
Brian McKeon, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, National Confectioners Association, said: “We have a unique opportunity to find a bipartisan, simple and fair way to fix the US sugar programme to provide some relief to American families grappling with the high cost of food.
“Both Republicans and Democrats agree: it’s time to modernise and make changes that will make American companies more competitive on a global scale, create new jobs, and strengthen communities while protecting American sugar farmers at the same time.”
Nancy Glick, Director of Food and Nutrition Policy, National Consumers League, noted most consumers today were not alive in 1934 when the US sugar programme was established.
“The goal was to provide a price guarantee to American sugar producers, but because the programme has not been modernised in 88 years, American manufacturers now pay twice what the rest of the world pays for sugar.
“And the price tag for consumers is estimated at between $2.4-4 billion a year. Especially now when food inflation is high, it is time for policymakers to update the sugar programme, so it ensures an adequate supply of sugar at reasonable prices.”
Bryan Riley, Director, Free Trade Initiative, National Taxpayers Union, also called for the United States to remove government-enforced barriers to ‘resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains’.
“The sugar programme imposes a hidden tax on American families. There is no reason for us to continue paying twice the world price for sugar. At a time of escalating food prices, the sugar program makes things even worse for consumers,” he said.