Washington, DC — In response to yesterday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the President’s 2014 trade agenda, the Coalition for Sugar Reform released the following statement:
“In his testimony yesterday, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman noted the sensitivity around the issue of sugar in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. We urge the U.S. negotiating team to continue close consultations with all stakeholders, including with the sugar-using business community, which employs 600,000 Americans across the United States.
“For companies of all sizes that use sugar as a key ingredient in the products they manufacture, the TPP and TTIP negotiations offer an opportunity for trade liberalization in the sugar market. To fully maximize the benefits of both trade agreements, sugar market access must be addressed both to allow for sugar imports into the United States when needed and to help ensure trade liberalization for other key commodities.
“We commend Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) for raising this issue during the hearing and for underscoring the economic costs of the protectionist U.S. sugar program. The outdated program has cost consumers and businesses billions of dollars a year, taxpayers nearly $300 million in FY 2013 and the economy 10,000 food manufacturing jobs per year.
“We also applaud Rep. Davis for addressing the sugar lobby’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty petition against Mexico, which is nothing more than a diversionary tactic to shift the blame for sugar market distortion from the failed U.S. sugar program to Mexico. As Secretary Vilsack made clear yesterday, the sugar lobby’s petition is ‘ill-timed,’ and Mexico’s Agriculture Secretariat has already indicated that the petition ‘is contrary to the spirit of cooperation that has marked the relationship between the two countries in the sweetener industry, and could seriously disrupt the delicate balance that exists in the trade of these products."
For more information about U.S. sugar policy and why reform is long overdue to protect the nation’s consumers, food manufacturers and small businesses, visit www.SugarReform.org.
About the Coalition for Sugar Reform:
The Coalition for Sugar Reform (www.SugarReform.org) represents consumer, trade, and commerce groups, manufacturing associations, and food and beverage companies that use sugar — including confectioners, bakers, cereal manufacturers, beverage makers and dairy companies — as well as the trade associations for these industries.