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Shaheen, Toomey Reintroduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Overhaul U.S. Sugar Program

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is renewing her bipartisan effort with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Representatives Virginia Foxx (NC-05) and Danny Davis (IL-07) to rein in America's flawed sugar price support program. Yesterday, the bicameral group of lawmakers reintroduced the Fair Sugar Policy Act of 2021 to reform the federal sugar support program, which currently has cost consumers and businesses as much as $4 billion per year.

“I’m glad to once again partner with Senator Toomey to spearhead this bipartisan legislation that would make long overdue reform to our sugar program that for too long has penalized consumers and jeopardized American jobs,” said Senator Shaheen. “Our bipartisan, bicameral legislation would make key reforms to the federal sugar program that would alleviate burdensome restrictions so American businesses can expand and thrive. Our bill has historically garnered broad bipartisan support, which speaks to both how necessary and reasonable our proposals in this legislation are to help workers in New Hampshire and throughout the nation.”

"The current sugar program is a sour deal for American consumers and taxpayers. It is long past time we reform this corporate welfare program that jacks up food prices while threatening thousands of good-paying jobs," said Senator Toomey. "I hope my colleagues will join us in supporting this bipartisan bill to rein in this labyrinth of price control mechanisms that only serve to enrich a handful of wealthy sugar producers.”

"The current U.S. sugar policy has kept the cost high for our Chicago-land area candy manufacturers and food processors. Our food processors that use sugar as an ingredient in their products pay twice as much for domestic sugar than the rest of the world. Chicago has lost thousands of jobs due to the protection programs which set artificially high prices, and profits, for sugar growers. We need sugar reform so that food companies are not forced to make difficult choices that impact thousands of jobs," said Representative Davis.

“The outdated sugar program has prevented American food manufacturers from reinvesting in their business and hindered their ability to compete on a global scale. We are encouraged by this meaningful step to enact commonsense legislation that levels the playing field and modernizes this program to meet the needs of the entire supply chain,” said John Downs, president & CEO of the National Confectioners Association and co-chair of the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy.

Specifically, the Fair Sugar Policy Act of 2021 would:

  • Lift restrictions on the domestic supply of refined sugar.
  • Reduce taxpayer liability for sugar processor loan forfeitures.
  • Ensure that the impact on consumers, manufacturers and farmers is taken into account when the USDA administers the sugar program.
  • Reduce market distortions caused by sugar import quotas.

Bill text of the legislation is available here.

In the Senate, the legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Blackburn (R-TN), Casey (D-PA), Collins (R-ME), Coons (D-DE), Durbin (D-IL), Hassan (D-NH), Johnson (R-WI), Kaine (D-VA), Markey (D-MA), Menendez (D-NJ), Portman (R-OH), Warner (D-VA), Warren (D-MA) and Young (R-IN).