USDA News Fuels Coalition’s Push for Sugar Reform

While the amount of sugar forfeited could be slightly lower - the USDA website shows 85,375 tons of sugar valued at about 34.6-million dollars still being used as collateral for August. The Coalition for Sugar Reform says this news reinforces the dire situation we are in because of outdated, market-manipulating U.S. sugar subsidies. The coalition notes the U.S. sugar program forced USDA to spend nearly 55-million in taxpayer dollars in July and August to prop up sugar prices for sugar producers. The group says that's on top of this additional cost of nearly 35-million dollars. They say the House and Senate didn't know the American taxpayers would be forced to shell out nearly 90-million dollars when they voted by narrow margins to keep the current U.S. sugar program intact without a single reform. The coalition says it is now abundantly clear that the current sugar program is not in America's economic interest. The group says Congress should reevaluate the decision to keep it in place as is.

According to the Coalition for Sugar Reform - USDA is doing a commendable job in exercising all available options to minimize taxpayer costs. But they say only Congress can fix the program. They urge Congress to do so this year as millions of dollars more in taxpayer costs are still expected in coming months. The coalition notes another 307-million dollars in sugar loans come due at the end of September. They also cite the Congressional Budget Office projection of additional taxpayer costs of 239-million dollars over the next several years. The coalition adds that at least one analyst has forecast taxpayer costs of more than 200-million dollars this year and next alone.

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