Our Mistaken Sugar Policy Is Killing American Jobs

I was bemused by David Baxter’s charge that the Competitive Enterprise Institute hasn’t fought against the costly U.S. sugar program and its powerful lobby. Au contraire, Mr. Baxter. Over several years, in the lead-up to the 2008 farm bill and during debate and negotiations, CEI ran a bipartisan, left-right coalition of nonprofits focused on getting rid of the U.S. sugar program, with its domestic supply constraints, price supports and quota system for imported sugar. Under CEI’s auspices, the Sugar Reform Alliance published studies, opinion articles, educational materials and videos and maintained a website devoted to sugar reform. Members also held seminars on Capitol Hill and briefed policy makers on how the sugar program harms consumers, sugar-using companies and the poor in developing countries.

We at CEI and others fought long and hard against a formidable sugar lobby that had strong bipartisan support in Congress, and we, unfortunately, were unsuccessful in our efforts. This year, when a new farm bill will be negotiated in a new cost-conscious Congress, there may be a better chance of ending the egregious sugar program. CEI will again be weighing in.