FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2015
CONTACT: Phillip Hayes, 202-507-8303
WASHINGTON — U.S. sugar producers today unveiled a new resource on the American Sugar Alliance (ASA) website that catalogues increases to foreign sugar subsidies made over the past two years. The site, which provides links to news reports about international subsidy changes, already includes nearly 30 entries.
“In 2013, America’s sugar producers publicly endorsed the Zero-for-Zero sugar policy, which would roll back all global sugar subsidies in favor of a free market,” the ASA explained on its new webpage. “Foreign sugar producers responded by escalating subsidies instead of making smart reforms.”
Subsidy growth in India and Brazil – the world’s two biggest sugar producers – dominate the list and range from export subsidies and increased sugar ethanol mandates to preferential loans and debt forgiveness. There are also entries for China, Thailand, and African countries.
Phillip Hayes, a spokesman for the ASA, said the new database is a useful tool to help lawmakers and others keep track of the subsidy race currently underway by the world’s biggest sugar producers.
“Sugar is the world’s most distorted commodity market, and it will stay that way until we identify and tackle the direct and indirect subsidies that foreign producers use to dump sugar on the global market below their cost of production,” Hayes said. “If we are ever going to achieve a global market where the best businesses are rewarded instead of the most subsidized, then there needs to be a subsidy cease fire.”
ASA has offered to support the elimination of U.S. sugar policy if other countries will follow suit, and according to Hayes, the World Trade Organization is the best venue to achieve a simultaneous de-escalation of global subsidies.
Until progress can be made on the international front to foster a free market, Hayes said U.S. producers would continue to fight efforts to weaken U.S. sugar policy, which responds to predatory practices by foreign exporters.
“Unilateral disarmament only rewards the world’s biggest subsidizers and worsens conditions on the distorted dump market,” he explained.
The list of foreign sugar subsidy news can be found at: http://www.sugaralliance.org/foreign-sugar/news/