U.S. Sugar Policy: Not a Sweet Deal for Small Business  

By at 5 April, 2018, 8:26 am

by Karen Kerrigan-

The outdated U.S. sugar program is putting our small businesses at a disadvantage and drives costs higher, which hurts the ability of small firms to grow and compete.  That is why SBE Council has joined the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy, which will press for needed changes to our nation’s terribly outdated sugar program (yes, we still have one!)  As noted in a press release from the Alliance:

“The sugar program is the only commodity subsidy program that has not been modernized in the past 80 years. It forces manufacturers to pay twice as much for sugar as the rest of the world, putting American businesses at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to creating jobs.”

The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / SB. 2086), introduced by a bicameral, bipartisan group of federal lawmakers late last year, would reform the outdated program.  SBE Council strongly supports the legislation and will be working with our coalition allies to press for passage. U.S. Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Danny K. Davis (D-IL) along with Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) have introduced the bipartisan legislation.

Congress can reform the U.S. sugar program this year as part of its consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill, which sets government agriculture policy.

Specifically, the Sugar Policy Modernization Act would:

● Lift restrictions on the domestic production and sale of refined sugar.

● Reduce taxpayer liability to loan forfeitures when sugar processors decide not to payback their USDA loans.

● Ensure that the domestic demand for sugar is considered when the USDA administers the sugar program.

● Bring market forces into the U.S. sugar market and phase out supply-management policies.

The voice of small to mid-size businesses is being heard on this important issue. SBE Council is engaging its members to help tell the story about why reforming this outdated program is good for U.S. competitiveness and will create an equitable environment for our small businesses.  Learn more by listening to the story of the Goetze Candy Company below, one of the few food manufacturers remaining in Baltimore.

Goetze Candy Company

Goetze Candy Company
Baltimore, Maryland

All types of small businesses and food manufacturers use sugar as an ingredient – from bakers to candy makers, snack foods and more. Lowering the cost of sugar by making it more available in the U.S. would make a big difference for the bottom lines of many small business owners and employees who are working hard to survive – and thrive – in the competitive marketplace.

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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