CCAGW Leads Coalition Supporting Reform to U.S. Sugar Program | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Leads Coalition Supporting Reform to U.S. Sugar Program

Letters to Officials

July 17, 2023

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow      
U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry

The Honorable Glenn “GT” Thompson
U.S. House Committee on Agriculture

The Honorable John Boozman
Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

The Honorable David Scott
Ranking Member
U.S. House Committee on Agriculture                     

Dear Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Boozman, Chairman Thompson, and Ranking Member Scott:

            On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our millions of members, we urge you to support reform to the U.S. sugar program.  The current sugar program is an outdated scheme that drives up prices for consumers and small businesses.  Reforming the current sugar program with market-oriented solutions will help lower prices and provide much needed economic relief to millions of Americans.

            The U.S. sugar program, enacted in 1934, is an outdated command-and-control scheme that uses import quotas, loans, marketing allotments, price supports, and tariffs to artificially inflate the price of sugar.  The federal government establishes a minimum price for sugar in the U.S., which averages roughly double the world price. The government also imposes marketing controls, limiting how much sugar processors are allowed to sell.  These allotments are enforced and administered by a very small group of sugar processors. 

            The sugar program is a hidden expense that costs small businesses and consumers $2.4 - $4 billion each year, according to the American Enterprise Institute.  Furthermore, the U.S. sugar program has been found to lead to the loss of between 17,000 to 20,000 jobs annually. In fact, the Department of Commerce estimated that for every sugar-producing job protected through high U.S. sugar prices, about three manufacturing jobs are lost. 

            Finally, and unsurprisingly, the generous government support sugar processors have received over the decades is reflected in poor environmental outcomes. The Everglades ecosystem, coastal estuaries, and communities of South Florida continue to experience significant air pollution and water quality issues related to sugar production. Enacting market-oriented reforms to the sugar program would encourage more efficient industry practices and help safeguard the state’s tourism economy.

            The sweet deal for sugar leaves a sour taste for consumers and taxpayers. The program desperately needs market-oriented reforms to help consumers, food manufacturers, taxpayers, producers, and the environment. 


Tom Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Brent Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer
Americans for Prosperity

Daniel J. Mitchell
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Pete Sepp
National Taxpayers Union

Nan Swift
Fellow, Governance Program
R Street Institute

Paul Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Steve Ellis
Taxpayers for Common Sense

Kent Kaiser
Executive Director
Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity

CC:                  The Honorable Charles Schumer, Senate Majority Leader
                        The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader
                        The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House
                        The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries, House Minority Leader

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Letter Type: 
Coalition Letters