Whether they are growing and harvesting corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, or sugar beets, the farmer is without question the backbone of the American way of life.
President Trump has made it a focal point of his administration to protect American farmers by trying to keep global competition fair by reevaluating long-standing trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Unfortunately, predatory foreign countries have been undermining the American agriculture community, namely the sugar industry, by subsidizing their private companies so they can drive the cost down to an uncompetitive price.
The U.S. Congress will be address the Farm Bill sometime this year and must also address the Sugar Policy Modernization Act (SPMA), a proposed bill that would end the current pro-American farmer U.S. sugar policy.
This act alone would take away the protections the current U.S. sugar policy has for American sugar farmers and refiners to counter the foreign trade threat.
According to a recent study conducted by the conservative think tank, The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, the existing U.S. policy offers all the protections American sugar farmers and refiners need to compete.
Michael Thompson, the president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, expressed his opinion about the study, outlining the current sugar policy “levels the playing field” for American farmers.
Through import duties, the American government fines foreign competitors that use government subsidies to lower their prices artificially. The study also lays out steps for reforming the policy that would lead to a freer international sugar market.
By offsetting through import duties, the subsidies foreign governments give their own farmers, current U.S. sugar policy not only levels the playing field for American sugar producers, but also provides predictability to the market.
What’s more, the Agriculture Department projects sugar policy to run a zero cost to the taxpayer for the next 10 years, just as it has in 15 of the last 16 years.
If all foreign governments were to eliminate their subsidies — as our study calls for — then the U.S. import fees would no longer be necessary. American sugar farmers could compete in a free and fair world market without U.S. imposed import fees on foreign sugar.
Thompson continued, adding that “if the proposed Sugar Policy Modernization Act is enacted without the elimination of foreign subsidies, it will put thousands of American farming jobs at risk.”