SHAHEEN: NO SWEET DEALS FOR SUGAR INDUSTRY, EVEN ON VALENTINE’S DAY

At Lindt USA tour, discusses bipartisan SUGAR (Stop Unfair Giveaway and Restrictions) Act

February 14, 2011

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) celebrated Valentine's Day at Lindt USA's headquarters and chocolate manufacturing facility, where she continued her push to put money back in the pockets of consumers by eliminating unfair sugar subsidies. Shaheen talked about her bipartisan bill-The SUGAR (Stop Unfair Giveaway and Restrictions) Act-which would phase out the sugar support program and save consumers billions of dollars.

The bipartisan SUGAR Act comes as part of Shaheen's effort to eliminate unnecessary government programs.

"Our current U.S. sugar program is one big valentine to the sugar industry. The program keep domestic sugar prices artificially high, almost twice the world price. That costs consumers and companies, like Lindt, $4 billion a year to benefit a small number of sugar producers," she said. "The SUGAR Act protects consumers and American jobs, and helps companies like Lindt stay in business. We must stop sugar's sweet deal."

In addition to driving up prices, the sugar program also costs American jobs. High sugar prices are responsible for 112,000 jobs lost in sugar-using industries in the last decade and companies are leaving the United States to escape the high sugar prices here, according to Promar International.

Lindt USA offers premium chocolate products and employs approximately 350 people at the company's Stratham headquarters. It continues to be one of the largest employers on the New Hampshire seacoast. The company is directly affected by high sugar prices.

"We were pleased to host Senator Shaheen at our facility in Stratham," said Thomas Linemayr, president and CEO of Lindt USA.  "If this legislation is successful, we would expect our sugar prices to be competitive with other parts of the world."

Boston Fruit Slices, a small candy company in Lawrence, Mass., owned by two New Hampshire residents, has also voiced support for the bill. Owners Rick Heira and John Morrissey say the company has had to lay off four people as a result of high sugar prices.

The SUGAR Act is S. 25.

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