The Big Candy lobby and others who want to outsource U.S. sugar production and U.S. sugar jobs have said that U.S. sugar policy harms consumers by keeping domestic prices higher than the rest of the world.
Sugar critics base this talking point on the faulty assumption that cheap subsidized sugar from the “dump market” flows freely everywhere else in the world. But is foreign sugar really that cheap?
Shoppers around the world pay, on average, 20% more for sugar than we do in America, according to a new report just released by SIS International. The global market research company further found that consumers in similar developed nations are forking over 29% more for sugar in grocery stores.
Of course, Big Candy will argue that the wholesale price it pays for sugar is the real issue, not the retail prices grocery shoppers pay. So what about those prices?
The London-based International Sugar Organization just concluded the most thorough examination of wholesale sugar prices ever done, looking at prices in nearly 80 countries.
What it found is that Big Candy’s global competitors have been paying an average of 31 cents for a pound of sugar for the past decade – 46% higher than the price U.S. confectioners believe is fair. And its competitors in other developed nations have paid an average of 41 cents per pound – nearly double the world dump market price to which the confectioners want access.
For comparison sake, U.S. wholesale prices currently sit at 34 cents per pound, which is in line with current average prices around the world and well below prices in other developed countries. It’s also important to remember that the U.S. price includes transportation and storage costs, whereas those charges would have to be added to the foreign prices.
The bottom line: Big Candy is complaining just for the sake of complaining. U.S. sugar policy is working as Congress intended, and the 2014 Farm Bill should not be re-opened during the Appropriations process to gut it.
Vote no on all anti-sugar amendments during the appropriations process.