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Toomey Seeks to Reform U.S. Sugar Program

September 27, 2019

Allentown, Pa. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is renewing his bipartisan effort to rein in America's flawed sugar program and save taxpayer dollars.

This week, Senator Toomey introduced the Fair Sugar Policy Act of 2019 with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Danny Davis (D-Ill.).

"The current sugar program is a bad deal for American consumers and federal taxpayers. It is time to reform this corporate welfare program that hikes food costs for families and threatens thousands of well-paying jobs in Pennsylvania," said Senator Toomey. "I thank Senator Shaheen and Representatives Foxx and Davis for their hard work as we advance this bipartisan bill to rein in our government's flawed sugar policies and save taxpayer dollars."

"Reforming the federal sugar program is long overdue. Our current policies create heavy costs for consumers and put American jobs at risk," said Senator Shaheen. "This bipartisan bill will help make reasonable, common-sense changes to the federal sugar support program to change harmful policies and help grow American businesses. It's time for Congress to put special interests aside and work to reduce costs and protect American workers in New Hampshire and across the country."

"There is one single commodity program that has not been reformed in over 80 years, and it's the U.S. sugar program. Despite its toll on manufacturing jobs and up to $4 billion annual cost to consumers, year after year the government guarantees the sugar industry its profits. When the government stops picking winners and losers and opts for free market capitalism instead of crony-capitalism, the American people win, and that's what these reforms are all about," said Rep. Foxx.

"The current U.S. sugar policy has kept the cost high for our Chicago-land area candy manufacturers and food processors. Our food processors that used sugar as an ingredient in their products pay twice as much for domestic sugar than the rest of the world. Chicago has lost thousands of jobs due to the protection programs for the sugar growers. We need sugar reform so that food companies are not forced to make difficult choices that effect thousands of jobs," said Rep. Davis.

Specifically, the Fair Sugar Policy Act of 2019 would:

  • Lift restrictions on the domestic supply of refined sugar.
  • Reduce taxpayer liability for loan forfeitures when sugar processors decide not to repay their USDA loans.
  • Ensure that the impact on consumers, manufacturers, and farmers is taken into account when the USDA administers the sugar program.
  • Bring market forces into the U.S. sugar market.