FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Phillip Hayes, 202-271-5734
WASHINGTON – As global sugar prices fall – down 31 percent since the beginning of the year – pressure is increasing on foreign governments to subsidize their sugar industries.
The American Sugar Alliance (ASA) is keeping a close eye on these developments, adding new entries to its foreign subsidy database and today releasing a video about the volatility of the world market.
Sugar now sells for less than it costs to produce, the video explains. “That’s because the world sugar market is grossly distorted by subsidies.”
In fact, sugar has been called the world’s most distorted market, with major producers like Brazil, India and Thailand receiving $2.5 billion, $1.7 billion and $1.3 billion in annual subsidies respectively.
“Things are different in the United States,” the video continues. “American farmers don’t get subsidy checks. They get loans that are repaid with interest and receive their income from the marketplace.”
America’s sugar policy – which includes producer loans and keeps unneeded subsidized imports from flooding the market – exists only because of the distorted nature of global prices. That’s why U.S. sugar producers have agreed to eliminate their sugar policy if other major producers will stop subsidizing and let a free market form.
Known as the “Zero-for-Zero Sugar Policy,” this plan would bring about true worldwide subsidy reform without jeopardizing U.S. farms and jobs. On the other hand, farm policy critics are pushing for an end to U.S. policy without any reciprocation – effectively outsourcing America’s sugar production and rewarding foreign subsidizers with a greater share of the U.S. market.
Unilateral surrender, ASA contends, is bad policy for American farmers and consumers alike.
“Until other nations drop their sugar subsidies, the U.S. should use its policy…to keep trade fair and defend U.S. jobs,” the video concludes. “And unlike Brazil, India, Thailand and Mexico, U.S. policy costs taxpayers nothing.”
This video is the third installment of the ASA “Sugar Shorts” video series, which is available on www.sugaralliance.org and the association’s social media channels.