Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, April 2, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and U.S. Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA) spoke at the Denver, Pa. Pepperidge Farm facility to urge Congress to pass the Sugar Reform Act. The current U.S. sugar program subsidizes sugar growers by almost $3.5 billion a year, a cost that falls directly on the backs of bakers, food manufacturers and consumers alike.
“The U.S. sugar program puts American manufacturers at a disadvantage when it comes to competing on a global scale,” said Kelly Johnston, Vice President, Government Affairs, Campbell’s Soup Company. “For the past four years, the program has artificially propped up the price of sugar here in the U.S., while our competitors around the world have had access to sugar that has been between 64 and 92 percent lower than what we’ve paid here. We are urging Congress to reform the program this year so it works for American manufacturers and consumers, not just one industry.”
“The current sugar program is a job killer,” said Cory Martin, ABA Director of Government Relations. “We’ve lost over 127,000 jobs in the U.S. because of this program, while creating a competitive disadvantage for U.S. bakers and food manufacturers. But, this has been a boon for Canada, which is actively marketing to bakers and confectioners to move production facilities to Canada, as Canadian manufacturers enjoy prices typically 30 to 40 percent lower than in the U.S.,” continued Martin, referring to a promotional brochure by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada detailing the benefits of moving production north of the border.
“As our nation continues to face difficult economic challenges, now is not the time to continue a program that dampens economic growth and diminishes opportunities to create more U.S. jobs,” added Robb MacKie, ABA President and CEO. “ABA strongly supports Senator Toomey and Representative Pitts, along with the more than 60 cosponsors of the Sugar Reform Act, in their efforts to reform this archaic program.”