Later today, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on amendments to H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.
Amendment #32, introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) reforms and modernizes the U.S sugar program. ATR urges a YES vote on the Foxx amendment.
The Foxx amendment repeals and reforms several trade restrictions and import quotas. The proposal also implements market reforms to ensure taxpayer funds are more responsibly spent.
For too long, American consumers, workers and taxpayers have been harmed by sugar subsidies. Every year, Americans spend between $2.4 and $4 billion more on sugar than market prices dictate because of subsidization of sugar.
Enacted in 1934, the U.S. sugar program includes numerous market distorting tools to inflate the price of sugar including import quotas, loans, marketing allotments, price supports, and tariffs. As a result, Americans today pay almost twice the world price for sugar, raising prices for businesses and consumers.
At the same time, taxpayers have been forced to foot the bill for millions of dollars in bailout money for loan defaults and other subsidies.
This program has cost more than 123,000 manufacturing jobs since 1997, and the Department of Commerce estimates that every sugar-producing job protected through high U.S. sugar prices has come at the cost of three manufacturing jobs lost.
Support for reform is also bipartisan and bicameral. Legislation to reform the sugar subsidy, the Sugar Policy Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 4265/S. 2086), has been introduced in the House by Representatives Foxx and Danny Davis (D-IL) and in the Senate by Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) in the Senate.