U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) renewed his call for elimination of the Federal sugar program as part of the Farm Bill reauthorization.
"Government manipulation to increase U.S. sugar prices is driving jobs across the border and taxing American consumers. Continuing Big Sugar's big handout would cost private sector jobs at a time when the Farm Bill should be enhancing job growth." Lugar said.
At a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Lugar presented a Canadian brochure intended to lure food and confectionary manufacturers from the United States to Canada. The brochure's first bullet point reads: "SUGAR REFINERS IMPORT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THEIR RAW MATERIALS AT WORLD PRICES: Canadian sugar users enjoy a significant advantage -- the average price of refined sugar is usually 30 to 40 per cent lower in Canada than in the U.S. Most manufactured products containing sugar are freely traded in the NAFTA region."
"Big Sugar likes to say that their handouts come at no government expense. That is little comfort to Americans who lose their jobs and families who pay higher food prices."
Video is available on Senator Lugar's Youtube page.
According to a recent study from Iowa State University, consumers could save up to $3.5 billion each year on a wide variety of food products. In addition, as many as 20,000 additional jobs could be created each year in the food sector, if the U.S. sugar support program were eliminated.
Lugar has introduced the "Free Sugar Act to eliminate federal government controls on sugar. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), John McCain (R-AZ), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Dan Coats (R-IN), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Bob Corker (R-TN). Lugar's sugar repeal is also included in Lugar's REFRESH Act proposal, which would cut federal government spending by $40 billion.