I am writing to ask you to stop the antiquated subsidies that have propped up Big Sugar at the expense of millions of Americans for far too long. Current U.S. sugar policy is directly responsible for the loss of thousands of U.S. food manufacturing jobs and costs American refiners, manufacturers and consumers more than $4 billion each year.[Your comments will be added here]
Since 1934, the current sugar program has instituted virtual price guarantees for U.S. sugar producers. The result is that U.S. sugar prices are two to three times higher than the world market price.
What's worse is the impact on American jobs and our economy. The current system hurts U.S. manufacturers of any food product containing sugar: cereal, baked goods, and more, which can't compete with foreign competitors who are able to purchase sugar at significantly less expense. This places U.S. companies at a tremendous disadvantage, costing us more than 112,000 jobs from 1997-2009 in sugar-using industries along, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The federal sugar program benefits a small number of sugar companies, which are propped up at the expense of thousands of lost food manufacturing jobs in the U.S. In contrast, there are more than 600,000 U.S. jobs in food industries that use sugar -- 30 times more jobs as sugar production and professing. Many of these same U.S. sugar producers also receive additional federal support for other crops they produce.
Big Sugar has argued that these sugar subsidies are necessary for their industry. But for every sugar-growing job in the U.S. saved through artificially high sugar prices, approximately three American manufacturing jobs are lost. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, removing restrictions on imports of sugar would result in the U.S. economy seeing an increase of $514 million.
It's time to end the Big Sugar bailout! Please support any legislation that puts an end to current U.S. sugar subsidies, and urge your colleagues on the Congressional Super Committee not to allow a backdoor attempt to extend this anti-free market program.
Thank you for your time and for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you.