04.14.2014 1

End the international sugar subsidies for Big Candy

sugarBy Rick Manning

Baskets of chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks and wondrous cream filled eggs will appear across America in a celebration bearing no resemblance to the real reason for Easter.

The National Confectioners Association projects that Easter candy sales are projected to be up 4 percent this year to a whopping $2.26 billion.  Big candy companies find themselves in tall cotton with sales up and the cost of their major ingredient, sugar, repressed by dumping campaigns in India and Brazil.

But what is truly good news for those who convert sugar into delectable treats, is bad news for those who through their own blood and sweat grow sugar in the United States.

The governments of India, Brazil and even Mexico have been flooding the sugar market creating a five year glut and driving domestic sugar producers to the brink of disaster.

As governments around the world are bombarding the World Trade Organization with complaints about subsidized dumping designed to destroy international competitors, the U.S. Congress would be wise to take a hard look at a solution proposed by Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL).

Yoho is urging Congress to pass something called, the “zero to zero” solution, whereby the U.S. Congress would eliminate all domestic sugar subsidy programs triggered by the World Trade Organization ending the subsidy programs around the world that put domestic sugar production at risk.

It is ironic that heavily subsidized sugar dumped on the world market by India and Brazil has created a bonanza for domestic candy manufacturers who are rightfully proud that they don’t receive domestic subsidies for their industry.  To prove they truly are for free markets, Big Candy should join the push for passage of “zero to zero” ending the foreign subsidies that artificially suppress the price of their primary raw material.

It is time for all sides of the sugar debate to ride the rush of this spring season to agree on passage of Ted Yoho’s third way to create a free worldwide sugar market.  That would leave a sweet taste in everyone’s mouth.

The author is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government

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