Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Rep Danny Davis (D-IL) highlight a new report from Promar International showing that federal sugar policy costs consumers an additional $4 billion a year. Price supports, controls on sales, and import quotas all inflate the price of sugar in the U.S. Depending on market conditions, the U.S. price of sugar is nearly double the worldwide average.
Pitts and Davis have introduced H.R. 1385, the Free Market Sugar Act, to open up the domestic sugar processing market and allows companies to compete. The Congressmen have also joined with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to form the bipartisan Sugar Reform Caucus.
"This report confirms what we've known for a long time: the federal sugar program costs Americans billions of dollars," said Pitts. "We are losing thousands of jobs in communities throughout the U.S. The sugar program hurts American food businesses facing stiff competition from overseas. While the profits of the sugar industry are guaranteed, sugar users struggle through the economic downturn. It's time for the federal government to stop playing favorites."
Davis said, "The Congress needs to address this inadequate sugar policy that unnecessarily increases the price of sugar and creates a disadvantage for food processors, bakeries and manufactures. Chicago is home to several of these confectioners and I have seen the devastating effects of this flawed sugar policy. This report should be taken seriously and move the Congress to act. I am committed to working with Rep. Pitts to save these jobs by ending the current unfair sugar program."