Washington — The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy (AFSP) hosted a panel discussion on opportunities to reform the U.S. sugar program in the 2023 farm bill last week. Members of Senate and House offices heard from Alliance experts on how Congress can address the rising cost of food by making bipartisan, targeted changes to the program.
During the event, AFSP Executive Director Grant Colvin provided an overview of the current U.S. sugar program and how modernizing sugar policy could help alleviate high and rising food costs and deliver positive, lasting impacts to constituents across the nation. Colvin highlighted how the Alliance believes reforming the U.S. sugar program is an achievable solution to one of the most recognizable challenges constituents are facing.
Panelist Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, noted: “The U.S. sugar program is a sour deal for taxpayers and consumers. Government intervention in the marketplace causes Americans to pay nearly double the price for sugar and sugar-related products compared to other countries. Eliminating the sugar program would save money and restore market competition.”
“The federal sugar program is a corporate welfare relic that favors producers at the expense of consumers,” said Nan Swift, fellow, governance program, R Street Institute. “On top of this preferential treatment, sugar growers also have access to other taxpayer-funded subsidies, such as federal crop insurance. In today’s modern farm economy, there is no place for protectionism that provides insulation from competitive pressures and raises costs for American consumers.”
Also addressing shortfalls in the current sugar program, Bryan Riley, director, Free Trade Initiative, National Taxpayers Union, said: “The sugar program 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. The United States should remove government-enforced barriers to resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains, starting with the U.S. sugar program.”