Subsidies for sugar producers raise prices for consumers and cost taxpayers billions of dollars per year, but now a bipartisan effort is underway in the Senate to repeal them.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on Tuesday that, “seventeen U.S. senators have introduced legislation to repeal the U.S. sugar price support system, renewing a fight that was won previously by sugar producers.”
Although some believe that Republican majorities in Congress might be more receptive to repealing the subsidies, the Times-Picayune predicts that, “the sugar industry is still likely to prevail.”Nonetheless, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, along with Republican Sens. Mark Kirk and Pat Toomey, reintroduced the Sugar Reform Act last week, quickly attracting an additional nine Republican and five Democratic co-sponsors.
In a press release, Shaheen claimed that, “The [sugar subsidy] program has already cost consumers more than $14 billion since 2008 and meanwhile, 125,000 jobs in sugar-using industries have been lost since 1997.”
“Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for a sweet deal for a small group of sugar producers and processors,” she said. “This is a perfect example of an outdated government program that’s hurting consumers, putting taxpayer dollars at risk, and costing jobs.”