U.S. Sugar Policy Responds to Foreign Predatory Trade Practices.
U.S. sugar policy ensures that foreign predatory trade practices-such as export subsidies, marketing monopolies and cartels, high internal supports, and high import barriers-do not drive efficient American sugar farmers out of business and threaten the reliability and stability of sugar supplies to American consumers.
U.S. sugar policy ensures that jobs in rural America are not sent overseas, and that American consumers are not held captive by unreliable foreign suppliers of subsidized sugar.
U.S. Sugar Farmers Seek Level Playing Field in Trade Negotiations
American sugarbeet and sugarcane farmers are efficient, world-class competitors, with costs of production below the world average, and welcome foreign competition, farmer-to-farmer, on a level playing field. But the playing field is not level: Subsidized foreign production and subsidized exports from foreign countries drive the so-called “world price” well below the cost of producing sugar. U.S. sugar import regulations are a necessary response to these trade-distorting subsidies that would otherwise displace efficient American farmers.
The U.S. produces about 80 to 85 percent of the sugar it consumes, importing the remainder from 41 different countries, making the U.S. one of the world’s largest importers of sugar. Under international trade agreements-World Trade Organization (WTO) and NAFTA- we must import up to 1.5 million tons of sugar each year, whether we need the sugar or not.
American sugar farmers welcome free trade, and they have since global trade talks began in the 1980s, as long as there is a total elimination of global barriers to agricultural trade. These reforms must be fair and multilateral.
The U.S. sugar industry, which is in total compliance with trade agreements entered into by our government, strongly favors the position that sugar reforms be conducted under the auspices of the WTO, and not through regional or bilateral trade agreements. Distortions within the world sugar market are so pervasive that changes must be made on a multilateral basis in the WTO, not piecemeal.
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