Sugar Producers Look to Address Issue of Foreign Subsidies
With the inclusion of a strong five-year sugar policy in the 2014 Farm Bill - American Sugar Alliance Director of Economics and Policy Analysis Jack Roney says the nation's sugar producers are setting their sights on addressing the foreign sugar subsidies that make U.S. sugar policy necessary. Roney says U.S. sugar producers are among the most efficient in the world and would thrive in a global free market if it existed. But historically - he says sugar has been and continues to be the world's most distorted commodity market because of foreign subsidization. Roney says sugar producers are so serious about addressing this issue - they are willing to give up U.S. sugar policy if other countries will end their direct and indirect market-distorting policies. The American Sugar Alliance says this idea is encapsulated in the zero-for-zero sugar imitative introduced by Florida Congressman Ted Yoho. The resolution would instruct the administration to work through the World Trade Organization to target foreign sugar programs - then would advocate for an end to U.S. policy once a free market forms. ASA is urging lawmakers to co-sponsor the resolution.
Roney says a subsidy cease-fire is particularly important today as major sugar exporters are increasing their subsidies and making the market situation worse. He notes Brazil has announced 500-million dollars in subsidized loans and debt relief within the past year. That's in addition to the 2.5-billion dollars a year in sugar subsidies that helped the nation seize market dominance. Roney says Thailand and India - other major sugar exporters - have also increased trade-distorting policies.