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Letter of Support for Sugar Reform Act, S.345 & H.R.693

February 15, 2013 J

Dear Senators Toomey and Shaheen and Representatives Pitts, Blumenauer, Goodlatte and Davis:

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write in support of the Sugar Reform Act (S.345 and H.R.693). Your legislation would make several reforms to U.S. sugar programs that benefit special interests at the expense of American consumers and taxpayers.

The 2008 farm law included a number of provisions that amount to corporate welfare for the sugar industry, and your bill would remove many of them. Most notably, your legislation eliminates the tariff-rate quotas that limit sugar imports and lead to higher domestic prices. It also repeals the Feedstock Flexibility Program, an antiquated program that requires the government to buy up surplus sugar and sell it to ethanol companies at a loss. Your bill includes several additional reforms that ease trade restrictions for sugar and promote transparency.

Americans continue to struggle in the down economy, and the last thing they need is government policies that cause them to pay higher sugar prices than the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the U.S. sugar program does precisely that. The American Enterprise Institute reports that our sugar program costs consumers $2.4 billion annually, and has a net economic cost of $1 billion.

Regrettably, handouts for the sugar industry are not an anomaly in agricultural policy. The farm bill is full of special favors for many other agricultural sectors, such as dairy and cotton. When Congress considers the farm bill later in 2013, it should consider similar reforms on our other broken agricultural programs. U.S. food and agricultural policy should be based on free market mechanisms, not on government favoritism.

AFP is proud to support the Sugar Reform Act (S.345 and H.R.693). I urge your colleagues to support its passage. I look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,

James Valvo
Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity

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