FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Phillip Hayes, 202-271-5734
WASHINGTON – As 2017 comes to a close and Congress prepares to debate the next Farm Bill, the American Sugar Alliance (ASA) today released the final installment in its four-part video series about U.S. sugar farmers, the challenges they face, and the policy on which they depend.
The final video explains how the U.S. sugar policy works – important context for the 2018 Farm Bill. Already, opponents of American agriculture are making misleading attacks on the no-cost program in their quest to outsource U.S. sugar production to subsidized foreign industries.
“Sugar is the world’s most volatile commodity market because every sugar producing nation subsidizes,” the video explains, noting that major producers like Brazil, India, and Thailand respectively spend $2.5 billion, $1.7 billion, and $1.3 billion a year on subsidies.
“All of those subsidies make it a tough market for U.S. farmers,” according to the video.
That’s where the U.S. sugar policy comes in. Unlike other nations, U.S. producers don’t get subsidy checks. They get government-backed loans that are repaid with interest. The policy is designed to cost taxpayers nothing and it prevents too much subsidized foreign sugar from flooding the U.S. market and driving American farmers out of business.
America’s sugar industry hasn’t always been the thriving one it is today, the video explains. The U.S. once relied heavily on imported sugar. In fact, sugar was the first commodity rationed during World War II and the last to come off the ration list.
Those kind of food shortages are why Congress embraced polices, like the no-cost U.S. sugar policy, to encourage American farmers to grow food right here at home. And it’s worked.
Today, U.S. sugar producers create 142,000 U.S. jobs and pump $20 billion into the economy every year, according to ASA. Meanwhile, prices have remained steady and affordable for consumers.
“Makes you wonder why some critics want to destroy America’s no-cost sugar policy and again become dependent on subsidized foreign imports,” the video concludes.
The video series is available on www.sugaralliance.org and on ASA’s social media channels.