The current U.S. sugar program costs bakers and consumers upwards of $3.5 billion dollars each year in higher sugar costs and has led to a loss of more than 127,000 U.S. jobs since 1997.
The sugar program is made up of four parts:
- Import quotas (also called Tariff Rate Quotas, or TRQs) set limits on how much sugar can be imported into the U.S. every year. Imports above this level are subject to an extremely high tariff, typically higher than U.S. sugar prices.
- Price supports, which enforce a minimum price for sugar in the U.S. domestic market. This makes the domestic price substantially higher than the world market price.
- Marketing allotments, which are aimed at preventing surplus supplies in the domestic market. Each beet processor and cane mill is under a government imposed and legally-binding limit on the amount of sugar it is permitted to sell each year.
- A sugar to ethanol program, that forces the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase "excess" sugar and resell it to ethanol refineries for pennies on the dollar.
The current U.S. sugar program costs bakers and consumers upwards of $4 billion dollars each year in higher sugar costs and has led to a loss of more than 112,000 U.S. jobs since 1997. Sugar policy restricts imports – many years leading to dangerously low supplies. Eliminating or dramatically reforming the program will allow U.S. bakers access to world sugar supplies, decreasing costs for both bakers and consumers alike.
The sugar program is typically reauthorized every 5 years in the Farm Bill. The next Farm Bill is currently being drafted by Congress. ABA is opposed to the current program and is working vigorously with Congress to create a more friendly sugar policy.
- Sugar Policy 101 – A white paper on the U.S. sugar program.
- Impact on Jobs in the U.S. – For every one job saved for sugar producers, three are lost in food manufacturing due to the current sugar program.
- Oh Canada: How Sweet It Is! – A Canadian marketing brochure urging U.S. companies to relocate to Canada to access cheaper sugar
- The Impact of the U.S. Sugar Program – a recent study detailing the negative economic impact the current U.S. sugar program has on U.S. businesses and consumers
- ABA Key Vote Letter to the Senate – letter sent to the Senate urging Senators to support reform – June 19, 2012